Posts tagged with "Boston"

Marijuana illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

The Best Cities to Get Stoned

It’s been a busy year so far for the cannabis industry: In recent weeks, New York, Virginia, and New Jersey legalized recreational marijuana for adults — with four other states, and even the federal government, possibly joining soon.

In light of these rapid changes — and 4/20 around the corner — the most important question to ask right now is: Which of America’s weed meccas promise to enhance your cannabis experience?

LawnStarter ranked 2021’s Best Cities to Get Stoned by comparing 94 U.S. cities (where recreational marijuana is currently legal) based on 12 key indicators of a smoking good time. Among them: The volume of Google searches for “marijuana” and “weed,” access to dispensaries and head shops, and availability of 420-friendly lodging and smoking lounges.

Check out the top 20 stoner cities below, followed by some highlights and lowlights from Lawnstarter’s report.

Best Cities to Get Stoned

1 Denver, CO

2 Los Angeles, CA

3 San Francisco, CA

4 Fullerton, CA

5 Garden Grove, CA

6 Glendale, CA

7 Colorado Springs, CO

8 Boston, MA

9 Portland, OR

10 Las Vegas, NV

11 Orange, CA

12 Detroit, MI

13 Torrance, CA

14 Santa Ana, CA

15 Pasadena, CA

16 Huntington Beach, CA

17 Anaheim, CA

18 Lakewood, CO

19 Ontario, CA

20 Worcester, MA

Highlights and Lowlights

Denver: The Mile High City 

Denver takes the weed cake in our ranking as America’s pot capital. With Colorado leading the nation’s recreational cannabis reform movement in 2012, it’s safe to say being a first mover really has its advantages.

Denver dominates the social environment category, with more 420-friendly lodging establishments and social consumption lounges. Where Denver falls short: the number of dispensaries and head shops and Google search popularity.

Colorado Springs and Lakewood also finished on a high note, at Nos. 7 and 18 overall, respectively. Only Fort Collins, in 63rd place, didn’t fare as well.

California: The State of High

Five Golden State cities landed in the top 10, a dozen in the top 20, and 20 in the top 30, and … you get the point: California is the “it” place for stoners, with the Los Angeles metro sweeping the popularity and supply access categories.

Among the top 10 overall are Fullerton, Garden Grove, and Glendale — all earning the highest grades in popularity and supply access — plus San Francisco at No. 3.

While no California city won every single metric, chances are you can find anything and everything cannabis-related in the state. It is, after all, the true reform pioneer: The state was first to legalize medical marijuana, in 1996.

Doobie Newbies

Cities in the newest states to join the league of fun-weed states — Arizona, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York — for the most part placed in the bottom third of our ranking. For example, Tucson, Arizona, landed at No. 85; Rockford, Illinois, at No. 91; Newark, New Jersey, at No. 90; and New York City at No. 77.

But two cities are riding on their recent high: Chicago — propelled by an abundance of marijuana tours and events — at No. 28, and Paterson, New Jersey — with the most residents searching for weed online — at No 46. Apparently, stoners here have waited long enough and aren’t wasting any more time.

The full ranking and analysis can be found on Lawnstarter’s website.

4 Seasons illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Spring In The Town & Country

SPRING IN THE TOWN & COUNTRY AT FOUR SEASONS HOTEL

Spring heralds the start of a new season dedicated to rebirth and new beginnings. In celebration of the Spring Equinox, Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street, Boston, debuts the latest experiential seasonal program for guests – Seasons in the Town and Country. This latest offering highlights the very best scenic destinations in Boston and New England through seasonal Insiders’ Guides, curated by the One Dalton Hotel team.

As the first of three seasonal offerings throughout the year, Spring in the Town and Country includes a seasonal welcome amenity on arrival; a personalized picnic for two including a bottle of wine; complimentary overnight valet parking and a curated Spring Insiders’ Guide designed to maximize the fun and enjoyment of exploring some unknown locations in the city and surrounding countryside.

Renowned for being one of the most scenic destinations within the country, New England boasts a stunning Atlantic coastline, rugged mountain ranges, spectacular spring blooms and quaint seaside towns. The city of Boston sits at the heart of New England and acts as the cultural hub within the region. Boston is a charming and extremely walkable city and offers a fascinating window into the nation’s history, making it an ideal base for exploration.

The team at Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street, Boston has thoughtfully curated a selection of their favorite destinations in the city of Boston and the surrounding New England area in the Spring Insiders’ Guide. Local natural attractions in Boston, ideal for a picnic, include the variety of parks that constitute the Emerald Necklace and the stunning cherry blossoms in Back Bay. The arrival of the cherry blossoms signals that the long winter is over, and spring has arrived. Most prominent in Back Bay and along the Charles River Esplanade and throughout the Public Garden and Boston Common, the Hotel team recommends a stroll or a bike ride to take in the gorgeous blooms across the city. Specifically, start a self-guided walking tour along Newbury Street or Commonwealth Avenue and head towards the Boston Public Garden for prime bloom-spotting.

Two other city suggestions include landmark locations such as the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the North End. Completed in late 1901 and dedicated to its namesake, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is one of the most wonderfully unique museums in Boston. As a passionate and devoted art connoisseur, Isabella Stewart Gardner personally collected and arranged the works of art in the historic galleries on three floors. Alternatively, if guests are looking for a great locale for history and dining, the Hotel team suggests guests take some time to wander the streets of little Italy in the North End of Boston, home to some of the best Italian restaurants, markets, and pastry shops in the country. For history buffs, guests should not miss The Paul Revere House (circa 1680) and the Old North Church, dating back to 1723.

A little further afield but within an hour’s drive from the Hotel, the Spring Insiders’ Guide features two wonderful destinations in Massachusetts – Hingham, and Essex. World’s End is a 251-acre (100 hectares) park and conservation area located on a peninsula in Hingham that is bordered by the Weir River to the north and east and Hingham Harbor to the west. Alternatively, Essex is a quaint coastal town that once centered on the ship-building industry but is now known as the antique capital and famously claims to have the highest density of antique shops in the United States. Seafood and clams are a particular specialty here and a serving of fried clams for lunch or dinner should not be overlooked.

For guests wanting to escape the city for the ultimate day-trip, the team has suggested Perkins Cove in southern Maine and MASS MoCA in North Adams. Originally a small fishing community and artists’ colony, Perkins Cove is a charming area that consists of local independent shops, restaurants, and scenic outlooks. Hugged by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and a small harbor on the other side, guests can picnic on the rocks while enjoying the crashing surf. If culture is on the agenda, then a visit to MASS MoCA will not disappoint. As one of the world’s liveliest centers for making and enjoying today’s most evocative art, the center features vast galleries and a stunning collection of indoor and outdoor performing arts venues.

Designed by the culinary team at One Dalton and perfectly packaged to enjoy while exploring by bike or foot in the city or by car for those longer distances, the Spring Picnic Menu includes a delicious seasonal selection of salads and sandwiches or wraps, accompanied by a variety of sides. Salad options include farfalle pasta salad, burrata salad, arugula salad and a spring green salad. Sandwich options include a Maine lobster cobb wrap, turkey and Vermont cheddar on a brioche bun, local Massachusetts meats muffuletta, grilled organic chicken breast and crumbled feta with zucchini, red pepper flakes, cucumber and mint on local ciabatta. Every Spring Picnic hamper includes Natalie’s handcrafted lemonade, house-made spiced potato chips and One Dalton’s own pistachio-cherry-chocolate cookies.

Spring in the Town and Country is available for stays through June 20, 2021 with rates starting at just USD 745 per night.

Following Spring in the Town and Country, additional packages will be seasonably available during the summer and fall months to celebrate the Summer Solstice and the Fall Equinox. Both packages will include a dedicated seasonal Insiders’ Guide and Picnic Menu showcasing seasonal ingredients.

College Campus Overnight Experience

Researching and discovering a future university or college is an exciting time for any parent or student. Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street, Boston has thoughtfully curated a dedicated College Campus overnight experience, which ensures that the prospective student or alumni and their families are set up for success and well prepared for the days ahead.

Guests who book this overnight experience will receive a college-themed amenity specific to their college of choice, a branded Four Seasons backpack filled with bottled water and snacks for the day, notebook and pen ready for taking notes in an instant, a college-themed postcard with an insider tip by alumni specific to the college of choice, and an overnight stay at the Hotel. As many of the One Dalton team have personally attended local Boston colleges, the Hotel team is also able to offer suggestions and recommendations and give prospective students the inside scoop on college life at any of these prestigious schools.

Reservations for the College Campus Experience can be made online.

Amtrak Logo by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Amtrak Restores 12 Long Distance Routes

With Increased Demand and Congressional Funding, Amtrak Restores 12 Long Distance Routes to Daily Service

Slated to debut this summer, new schedules offer the most departures since June 2020

As part of its COVID-19 recovery efforts, Amtrak announces full restoration of daily service for 12 long distance routes following pandemic-related schedule reductions in 2020. Providing customers significantly more departures for the upcoming summer travel season, the new schedule has been updated on all Amtrak reservation systems, including on their website and the Amtrak app.

Due to COVID relief funding, Amtrak will sustain and restore operations and recall the more than 1,200 furloughed employees through the remainder of FY21 and into FY22. The funding is pending President Biden’s signature on the final bill.

“Offering daily long distance service represents a vital step in our road to recovery,” said Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn. “Recognizing the immense value of our employees, we’d like to thank Congress for enabling service restoration and helping us recall furloughed employees.”

The daily schedules will commence in May 2021 and be grouped into three phases:

May 24 May 31 June 7
California Zephyr

(Chicago – Omaha – Denver – Salt Lake City – San Francisco)

Capitol Limited

(Washington DC – Pittsburgh – Cleveland – Chicago)

Crescent

(New York – Washington DC – Atlanta – New Orleans)

Coast Starlight

(Seattle – Portland – Sacramento – Oakland – Los Angeles

City of New Orleans

(Chicago – Memphis – Jackson – New Orleans)

Palmetto

(New York – Washington DC – Charleston – Savannah)

Empire Builder

(Chicago – St. Paul-Minneapolis – Spokane – Portland/Seattle)

Lake Shore Limited

(New York/Boston – Albany – Buffalo – Chicago)

Silver Meteor

(New York – Savannah – Jacksonville – Orlando – Miami)

Texas Eagle

(Chicago – St. Louis – Dallas – San Antonio – Los Angeles)

Southwest Chief

(Chicago – Kansas City – Albuquerque – Los Angeles)

Silver Star

(New York – Raleigh – Jacksonville – Orlando – Tampa – Miami)

Destinations listed above do not represent an exhaustive list of all route stops

All destinations and scheduled departure/arrival times served by the long distance network will be maintained. Additionally, Amtrak will continue to operate the Auto Train daily and the Cardinal and Sunset Limited trains tri-weekly, as it has been done historically.

The schedule restoration is a critical part of Amtrak’s strategy for investing in long distance service. Other components include

From New York City to the California coast, from Florida beaches to the Sierra Nevada, and from the Windy City to heart of the Big Easy, Amtrak’s world-famous long distance routes offer countless itineraries to over 500 destinations from coast to coast. Customers traveling aboard these trains can expect the following:

Visit Amtrak’s website or the Amtrak app for more information on schedules and fares. For information on enhanced COVID safety measures, please visit this website.

About Amtrak®

For 50 years, Amtrak has connected America and transformed transportation by modernizing train travel, and building for the future. Amtrak will continue to play an important role in the national transportation network for the next 50 years and beyond by operating a safe, environmentally efficient and fiscally responsible business by providing travelers with an experience that sets a new standard. Book travel, check train status, access your eTicket and more through the Amtrak app. Learn more at their website and connect with us on TwitterInstagramFacebook and LinkedIn.

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, COVID-19

Covid Risk Increases During Holidays

By Hannah DiPilato

With the holiday season quickly approaching, Covid cases are skyrocketing all over the country and officials are advising people to social distance this holiday season.

According to CNN, more than 12 million people in the United States have been infected with the coronavirus and over 260,000 people have died. With those that are elderly or immune-compromised, the risk of complications due to COVID-19 is higher.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated the safety guidelines for traveling. “CDC is recommending against travel during the Thanksgiving Day period,” Dr. Henry Walke, Covid-19 incident manager for the CDC, said in a conference call.

“Right now, especially as we are seeing exponential growth in cases and the opportunity to translocate disease or infection from one part of the country to another leads to our recommendation to avoid travel at this time,” Walke continued.

The CDC has also recommended people stay in their immediate households for the holiday season. Even without traveling across the country, seeing those you don’t usually see can lead to a breakout of coronavirus.

Walke said he does not plan to visit his own family for the holiday season. “I haven’t seen my parents since January. I’m staying home and that’s been difficult as I have older parents who would like to see me and who would like to see my children as well,” he said.

“It’s been a long outbreak, almost 11 months now, and people are tired. And we understand that and people want to see their relatives and their friends in the way they’ve always done it,” he continued, “But this year, particularly, we’re asking people to be as safe as possible and limit their travel.”

If you plan to gather with those outside of your immediate household, there are important precautions to take to prevent the spread of coronavirus. First, keep gatherings as small as possible. Many states have restrictions in place which limit the number of people allowed to gather inside. Check your local and state regulations to ensure your gathering is following the laws.

The CDC’s Dr. Erin Sauber-Schatz said, “The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is at home with the people in your household.”

If possible, move your Thanksgiving dinner outside. Coronavirus is less likely to spread outside where there is better ventilation than indoors. Although many places are getting cold, tell your guests to load up with blankets and winter gear. If it’s too cold for an outside gathering, keep the windows open to ventilate the area.

One of the most important and simplest things you can do to stop the spread of Covid is to wear a mask. In many states, masks are required in public places and Thanksgiving dinner should be no exception. Keep your mask on unless eating and remain six feet away from other guests.

It is also recommended that guests handle making their own food and bringing their own utensils to Thanksgiving dinner this year. This prevents the spread of germs as well as cross-contamination between households. Remember to frequently wash your hands when cooking, eating and generally to stop the spread of germs.

Covid cases are rising in communities as well as healthcare networks which is making the virus even harder to handle. Many more people are becoming hospitalized due to the virus and healthcare workings are at risk.

According to the Associated Press, 905 staff members at The Mayo Clinic Health System have been infected with coronavirus in the last two weeks. The Mayo Clinic Health System is a network of clinics and hospitals in the midwest that are run by Mayo Clinic.

Executive dean of Mayo Clinic Practice, Dr. Amy Williams, said that most cases came from exposure within the community and not from work. “It shows how widely spread this is in our communities and how easy it is to get COVID-19 in the communities here in the Midwest,” she said.

If a virtual gathering isn’t in your Thanksgiving plans this year and you will be seeing people outside of your family in person, consider isolating yourself beforehand. Since the incubation period of the virus is 14 days, a negative test result doesn’t necessarily mean a person does not carry the virus. Although a negative test result for coronavirus isn’t a sure sign of safety, it is an extra precaution everyone should add before mingling this holiday season.

Besides getting a coronavirus test, people should also consider a 14-day quarantine before seeing loved ones, or afterward. Isolating before seeing family will decrease the risk of spreading the disease within your holiday circle. If you plan on traveling for the holiday, consider isolating yourself after returning to prevent the spread of covid in your community.

The CDC has predicted this will be a dark winter and although a vaccine is in the works, it likely won’t be ready for mass distribution for a few more weeks. The holiday season will only lead to more cases with an increase in travel and group gatherings. As the weather in many places gets colder, inside gatherings are more likely to occur.

The CDC also recommends everyone get their flu shot for the upcoming flu season. By protecting yourself from the flu, you can help the healthcare system more easily manage the large influx of people going to the hospital.

In all states except Hawaii, Maine and Vermont, there is an active or imminent outbreak of coronavirus according to Covid Act Now. Even these three states are at risk for an outbreak. Currently, North Dakota has the highest number of new daily cases per 100,000 people with 159.6 cases. Wyoming and New Mexico follow closely behind.

Many states have separated their cities and counties into different zones depending on the number of Covid cases present. The restrictions in place for these areas are then determined by the number of cases.

New York City is starting to enforce tighter restrictions as cases start to rise. “In the next week or two we should see some substantial restrictions,” said Mayor, Bill de Blasio. “I think indoor dining will be closed, gyms will be closed.  I’m not happy about it. No one is happy about it but that’s what’s coming.” There is currently a 10 person gathering limit and a curfew for nonessential businesses between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Similarly, in Boston, Governor Charlie Baker has released a stay-at-home advisory for the same time frame. People are urged to only go out between these hours for essentials. Indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people while outdoor gatherings should be capped at 25 people.

Things on the west coast seem just as bleak. According to the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, restaurants, bars, wineries and breweries will be closed for dine-in services for at least three weeks. People in Los Angeles are being advised to stay home and have a similar curfew to Boston and New York City.

In some cities where cases are skyrocketing, restrictions are not being put in place as heavily as in California and New York. In Miami, restaurants are able to be open to 100% capacity and seat 10 people per table. Most things in Miami are reopened, but with restrictions such as requiring masks.

It is crucial for everyone to work together to bring covid cases back down over the coming weeks. As cases spike, it is important to remember that each state has precautions in place for a reason. Although many states won’t fully shut down, you can decide to continue social distancing and only going out for essentials.

St. Bernards High School illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Wonderfilm Announces Its Latest Feature, All In, Has Begun Filming in Boston

Against all odds, the students, faculty, staff and parents of one of the smallest private educational facilitiesin America band together to save their school. How they did it was nothing short of a miracle.

Emmy Award winning producers, Jeff Bowler and Bret Saxon’s Wonderfilm Media just completed the forth of eight weeks of principal photography on the highly anticipated documentary, All In: Miracle at St. Bernard’s. The feature-length documentary is based on the incredible true story of how St. Bernard’s, a small private Catholic high school in Fitchburg,

Massachusetts, found itself 100 years after its founding, facing a dramatic shut-down. The film follows the community as they pour their hearts and souls into saving their school from being permanently shuttered. A miracle ensues.    

A Real-Life David and Goliath Story

With enrollment dwindling, by 2018 St. Bernard’s was the smallest school in the commonwealth of Massachusetts, with a total of 99 students. The Catholic Diocese of Worcester made the difficult decision to close the school. Led by the school’s principal, Linda Anderson, students, parents, faculty, alumni and the townspeople of Fitchburg hatched an idea to raise enough money to take the school independent and keep it open. They worked tirelessly to raise the daunting amounts needed. Unfortunately, like the school, the town was struggling, and fundraising proved extremely difficult.   With quickly approaching deadlines, extreme pressure from the budget shortfalls, the Diocesan Superintendent of Schools informed all parties of the dire straits they were facing, and that short of a miracle, the school would cease to exist. Then the football team started winning.  

It All Came Down to Football
 

Almost every eligible student at the school joined the football team. With an enrollment so small, that meant the St. Bernard’s football team had 26 boys. Miraculously, despite going up against schools often ten times as big as St. Bernard’s, the team, led by Coach Tom Bingham, was winning, and winning, and winning. And with each win, the media started reporting on this David beating Goliaths. “St. Bernard’s was going up against teams from the top schools in New England, with thousands of students, multi-million-dollar endowments, and players who were much larger physically – and winning,” said All In producer Jeff Bowler. The St. Bernard’s team went on to win the state Super Bowl played in Gillette Stadium. The 26 boys on the team, fighting for every inch of the field that their hero, New England Patriot Quarterback Tom Brady, called home on Sundays, won the State Championship, generating enough national publicity to raise the money needed to save the school, including a huge donation from a still anonymous donor.   

Shortly thereafter, with funds in hand, the school officially became independent, with the full support of the Diocese. In the first year following the miraculous football season, admissions are soaring, and an entire town’s spirits have been raised in celebration of saving their historic high school. 
 

“As a St. Bernard’s alum and filmmaker, I was tapped by the school to help tell this truly remarkable story to the world,” said Bowler. “This feel-good, underdog tale is about so much more than football. The story is about a community that rallied together to create their own miracle. Faced with the closing of their beloved high school, students and faculty members stepped up to the plate to save their school, with unwavering perseverance.”    

All In: Miracle at St. Bernard’s is being produced by Wonderfilm’s Jeff Bowler and Bret Saxon. The Emmy Award-winning duo have enjoyed success in feature documentaries, including the 2017 documentary, UNCHAINED: THE UNTOLD STORY OF FREESTYLE MOTOCROSS, narrated by Oscar nominee Josh Brolin, which won the Emmy for Best Documentary, in the sports category, as well as the 2009 feature-doc, DIRTY OIL aka DOWNSTREAM, directed by Leslie Iwerks, which was short-listed for an Oscar.   

All In is being directed by Gregg Backer (Producer/Director HBO Sports, Real Sports). Other producers include Foglight Entertainment’s Gregg Backer and Evan Kanew with Nathan Bilotta serving as Executive Producer.  All In: Miracle at St. Bernard’s is currently shooting in Fitchburg, Boston and Los Angeles.  

Wonderfilm Media recently wrapped supernatural horror LULLABY directed by John Leonetti (Anabelle), with Alcon, in Toronto. Cast and crew adhered to all COVID-19 production guidelines and there were no cases of the virus on set. The film is set for a major release next October. Wonderfilm latest release, Dead Reckoning with K.J. Apa and India Eisley, just premiered November 13.   

Upcoming Wonderfilm Media projects include the biopic on Tampa Bay Rays breakout star, Randy Arozarena. The outfielder escaped Cuba on a makeshift boat in 2015, started a new life in Mexico before making his way to the U.S and has become the most talked-about MLB player in baseball. Wonderfilm is also developing the highly coveted Steve McQueen biopic as a limited series based on Marshall Terrill’s book, “A Tribute To The King of Cool”.   

About Wonderfilm Media

Wonderfilm is a leading entertainment company with offices in Hollywood, Boston and London. Wonderfilm focuses on the production of high-quality feature films and episodic television that offer international appeal through the Company’s commitment to elevated storytelling. Wonderfilm has seen twelve of its features released over the past twelve months, including the Nic Cage thriller Primal and the Guy Pearce vehicle Disturbing the Peace. Wonderfilm was founded by Jeff Bowler, Bret Saxon, and John Lewis.

*Team pic with trophy × All In tape by George Lugo

**School foliage by Caitlin Reidy

Rita Azar Illustrates a Basketball Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Jaylen Brown x George Floyd Bill

by Justin Lyons

Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics wing, in a press conference Sunday said he would like to see the city of Boston pass the George Floyd bill.

Brown, who has been one of the more active players in social justice conversations throughout the NBA, was asked about the Celtics’ commitment to spend $25 million over the next ten years to fight social injustice.

He said it was a great step, and that change happens over a period of time, but he thinks there are things that can be catalysts for change right now.

“One thing I would like to see in Boston is the George Floyd bill enacted,” Brown said, adding that conversations need to be had about police and qualified immunity. “Some things just need to be held accountable, and hopefully Boston can be a place where a tone is set that can be transpired in other cities.”

Brown went on to say that he thinks Boston is moving in the right direction, but he would still like to see more companies and organizations be diversified as well as more opportunities for people of color.

“I’m proud to be a part of the Celtics organization. I’m proud to have an ownership group, or a leadership group, that’s willing to take these steps because they recognize that we need to live in a better, more forward progressing world.”

The George Floyd bill, or H.R.7120, aims to achieve a few goals.

First, it would lower the criminal intent standard to convict an officer of law enforcement. The standard currently requires that officers act willfully, while H.R.7120 would only necessitate that officers act knowingly or recklessly.

Second, it would limit qualified immunity, which grants officers immunity in lawsuits regarding violations of constitutional rights of civilians.

Third, it would allow the Department of Justice to issue authorizations to investigate departments demonstrating patterns of discriminatory practices.

It would also create a national registry of police misconduct, lay the bricks for prohibition of racial profiling and implement new standards for training regarding racial profiling and use of body cameras.

It passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 236-181, and it will move to the Senate.

Brown’s comments come just weeks after NBA players boycotted games on behalf of Jacob Blake, whom was shot seven times by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and victims of police brutality everywhere.

A reporter asked Brown if he thought the boycott’s message was still effective even as players returned to the court.

“These issues have been here for a very, very long time, and they’re still going to be here regardless of if we protest or not or boycott or not. I think sports plays a huge role in society, and I’m very aware of that, so using our platform is something I’m always going to support,” Brown answered.

While he said the cure for racism might not come from the NBA, the players can always use their platform to let the world know that these issues are important.

Brown, who wears the word “Liberation” on the back of his jersey, scored 21 points and picked up eight rebounds to help the Celtics defeat the Toronto Raptors Friday by a score of 92-87. They advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals where they will meet up with the Miami Heat, who are playing on six days of rest after eliminating the Milwaukee Bucks in just five games.

The first game of the series begins Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. EST with the Celtics favored by a point and a half.

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, Independence Day Drink

2020 Labor Day Celebrations

By Cassandra Yany

In the face of COVID-19, Labor Day weekend looked very different his year. Absent were the large family cookouts and pool parties, or the big end-of-summer beach crowds. Many cities even had to omit public fireworks to prevent mass gatherings. Though the long weekend did not bring the celebrations we’re used to, there were still plenty of safe ways to enjoy the holiday.

Virtual events allow you to take part in more activities in different locations than you would have been able to physically. Made in America, a festival started by Jay-Z in 2012, was set to take place in Philadelphia this past weekend. On July 1, festival organizers announced that it would be rescheduled to Labor Day weekend 2021. They said in a statement “Collectively, we are fighting parallel pandemics, COVID-19, systemic racism and police brutality. Now is the time to protect the health of our artists, fans, partners and community as well as focus on our support for organizations and individuals fighting for social justice and equality in our country.”

This year’s lineup went unannounced, but last year’s festival was headlined by Travis Scott and Cardi B. Since the physical festival was canceled, a livestream showcasing the best performances took place on the music streaming service TIDAL throughout the weekend. The virtual festival included sets from Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Lizzo, Coldplay, Rihanna and many other chart-topping artists.

Nationally, a Labor Day virtual race was held by The Best Races for runners to run anywhere on their own time and submit their results. Participants who registered for the full package received a personal coach who was available Monday through Friday to provide help and answer questions during training, and provided encouragement and support on the day of the race.

Runners across the country were able to choose the distance of the race they wanted to participate in. Depending on what package they signed up for, they received a certificate of completion and digital medal, a 3-inch medal sent to their homes, a printable custom bib, a custom digital photo card that contains the race results, a digital running journal, a t-shirt, optional course maps and an optional pen pal program. 

Based in Portland, the Oregon Labor Movement held a statewide virtual Labor Day celebration and call to action on Monday. The organizers brought light to issues taking place in the state saying, “Working Oregonians are facing three crises at once: a deadly global pandemic, an economic free fall, and long-standing institutional racism.”

The event began at noon and featured talks from Oregon’s labor leaders, elected officials, and working Oregon citizens regarding their desire for change and their pursuit toward justice for workers. This event came after Portland’s rise to national prominence for their Black Lives Matter demonstrations and federal agents entering the city in recent months.

A number of virtual events were held in Los Angeles this past weekend, as well. HomeState, the LA-based Texas Kitchen, held its first Margarita Showdown in 2019, but had to move it online this year due to the pandemic and social distancing measures. The virtual event took place Saturday via livestream. Margarita makers in the area competed to see whose drink was the best.

Voters received eight bottled margaritas, along with limes and garnishing salt to try the different submissions from the safety of their homes. The winner chosen was El Compadre, a local Mexcian restaurant. The event was hosted by comedian Cristela Alonzo, and featured musical performances by Chicano Batman, Spoon, Questlove, Fred Armisen, Local Natives and Angela Muñoz. All proceeds from the event benefit the organization No Us Without You! and the Watts Empowerment Center.

The Gourmandise School of Sweets & Savories in Santa Monica hosted a virtual Labor Day Pies class on Sunday. In the class, participants were taught how to make a s’mores pie and key lime pie. Registration for the class included access to the Zoom video meeting, as well as the recipe and shopping list. Recipes can also be found on Gourmandise’s Instagram.

Some cities were able to hold in-person events following social distancing guidelines. Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art, located in the Seaport District, upheld its tradition of free admission on Labor Day. The museum is typically closed on Mondays, but was open from 10 am to 5 pm for guests who reserved tickets. 

Monday was the last day for guests to see the exhibits Tschabalala Self: Out of Body and Carolina Caycedo: Cosmotarrayas. Also on display were the Sterling Ruby, Nina Chanel Abney and Beyond Infinity: Contemporary Art after Kusama exhibits. The ICA has increased cleaning and follows Massachusetts COVID guidelines by requiring all staff and visitors to wear face coverings, and allowing a restricted number of guests each hour. Spaces that don’t allow physical distancing are temporarily closed, and exhibition labels and printed materials have been made available online to reduce touch surfaces.


In New York City, a Labor Day Paint in the Park event was held in Central Park. The two-hour socially distant class was led by a master artist who gave step-by-step painting instructions. Participants were required to wear masks and sit six feet apart. Admission included a pre-sketched canvas and painting supplies, and parties were encouraged to bring food and drinks to snack on during the class.

For those who wanted to enjoy the holiday by relaxing at home with their favorite movie or TV show, a number of stores had sales to mark the end of summer. There were countless deals that shoppers could take advantage of to celebrate their work.
Many workers have faced great adversity within the past eight months, some losing their positions and having to move quickly to find a new one, and others doing their job in a way they never thought they would have to. Whether you stayed in or got out of the house for some socially-distant fun, Monday was definitely a day worth celebrating.

Rodent illustration by Nicole Salazar for 360 MAGAZINE.

CITY RATS × STREETS

By Althea Champion

Thirty-four years after the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant meltdown, lush greenery and wild wolves freely inhabit the landscape, uninhibited by the burden of human life’s presence. Nine months after the first reported case of COVID-19 in the U.S., another lifeform—one much less beautiful and romantic—roams the comparatively barren city streets of the U.S.: rats.

In East Coast cities, from New Orleans to Boston to New York City, residents are reporting sightings of rats swarming, scouring the city, capitalizing on the valuable real estate human beings recently left behind in pursuit of the safety of their homes.

The swell of rat turn-out is not simply because the once busy streets they cowered in the shadows of are now empty, but because they are starving and in dire straits. It seems that hard times are not unique to humans during these past few months, but are actually falling on rats, too.

“Community-wide closures have led to a decrease in food available to rodents, especially in dense commercial areas,” the CDC reported in a May update of rodent-control guidelines in respect to COVID-19. “Some jurisdictions have reported an increase in rodent activity as rodents search for new sources of food. Environmental health and rodent control programs may see an increase in service requests related to rodents and reports of unusual or aggressive rodent behavior.”

According to the Boston Herald, Boston is currently handling an impressive rat problem of their own, with the Allston/Brighton neighborhoods reporting a whopping 88% increase in rodent activity in comparison to last year.

“Boston is experiencing an unusually large surge in rodent complaints during the coronavirus pandemic,” reported Meghan Ottolini of the Boston Herald. “With residents reporting massive infestations in gardens and rats ‘the size of cats’ scurrying down the street in broad daylight.”

The waste that rats once prospered on is no longer available as a result of much frequented restaurants and bars closing their doors. Scraps can no longer be found without extensive searches. Thus, city rats, motivated by their acute distress and changing landscape, are resorting to desperate measures. 

In New York City, where restaurants are permitted to serve patrons outdoors as of June 22, rats are also showing up to dine at the literal heels of customers bating for crumbs, according to The Guardian.

In cities more than ever, the line between wildlife and the human race is slimming. Unlike those who live in more rural areas, animals are not something city folk come in contact with on a daily basis—aside from a dog, cat, and the occasional hamster. 

Perhaps this is changing. Linda Rodriguez McRobbie of The Boston Globe suggests that the urban wildlifes—the coyotes in Chicago and San Francisco, mountain lions in Boulder, and the groundhog in Philadelphias—are perhaps lessening the “artificial division between ‘man’ and ‘nature,'” and maybe that isn’t a bad thing. Perhaps, humans do not have to be separate from nature, and rodents do feature in nature.

It is, after all, the year of the rat.

Alec Wigdahl – Summer is Over

Singer, songwriter and guitarist Alec Wigdahl releases his third single “Summer is Over,” out now via 10K Projects/ Internet Money Records. Following the release of past singles “Lipstick” and “Cologne,” “Summer is Over” is a pop-rock anthem that shows Wigdahl singing over a dance-floor ready, guitar-led beat. His recent breakout “Cologne” has gained over 2.4 million plays on Spotify and holds a coveted spot on its “Young and Free” and “Anti Pop” playlists, and his catchy July release “Lipstick” has been heralded as the song to “soundtrack your summer romance” by Earmilk. The release is also accompanied by a music video, directed by Molly Hawkins (Harry Styles, The xx, Kelsey Lu), featuring bright colors and trippy visuals.

Based in L.A. but originally from outside Minneapolis, Alec Wigdahl took up songwriting at the age of 15, initially using music as a form of therapy. After teaching himself to play guitar by watching videos of his favorite musicians, he put out a self-produced EP called On My Mind his senior year of high school. Upon graduating he headed to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music, but quickly dropped out and returned home to enroll at the University of Minnesota, compelled to continue with his D.I.Y. approach to music. Those instincts proved to be right on target when the Internet Money team reached out to Wigdahl after discovering his songs on social media. By the end of last summer, Wigdahl had signed his deal with 10K Projects, and soon set to work on Strawberry – released December 2019, the EP showcases Alec’s stripped-down sonic palette.

Alec kicked off 2020 with a brutally honest but infectious new single called “Cologne.” His most popular to date, the track was produced by Wigdahl along with Internet Money founder Taz Taylor, Nick Mira, and OkTanner and featured more elaborate pop production than his previous record, Strawberry. Despite the differences in its production, “Cologne” offers up the same raw emotion that Wigdahl has always brought to his songwriting. As Wigdahl explains, that fearless honesty ultimately serves as a vehicle for personal connection.

“I love the kind of songs that are incredibly specific to the artist’s life, but when you listen it hits you right in the chest — almost like it’s happening to you,” says Wigdahl. “In my own music I try to be as personal and vulnerable as I possibly can, so that everyone can feel like the song was made for them. I want them to feel like I’m narrating their story at the same time that I’m narrating mine.”

Justin Bieber illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Justin Bieber Tour Rescheduled

Justin Bieber reschedules his world tour dates and adds new shows

Grammy Award-winning Justin Bieber, announced his rescheduled world tour dates today.  The tour was to kick off in May but was postponed this Spring for the safety and health concerns of the fans and crew. The tour kicks off in San Diego at Pechanga Arena on June 2, 2021 and includes new arena stops in New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago and more. Unfortunately, Kehlani and Jaden Smith will not be appearing on the new dates, but new acts will be released soon.

“I can’t wait to get out there and connect with my fans on this tour,” said Justin. “We’ve been through so much this year. More than ever, we’ve come to understand how much we need each other, and how meaningful these moments can really be.”

Tickets for new shows go on sale to the general public starting Thursday, August 6th and $1.00 from each ticket will be donated to the Bieber Foundation, which is committed to mental health wellness. Of course, all tickets will be honored for the rescheduled dates so Bieber fans resume their excitement in 2021. For more information, visit Ticketmaster.com or justinbiebermusic.com.