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What to know about Boston's new nightlife czar and Newton's permanent outdoor dining rules

People dancing on Campus Night at the newly reopened ManRay in Cambridge. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
People dancing on Campus Night at the newly reopened ManRay in Cambridge. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Editor's Note: This is an excerpt from WBUR's daily morning newsletter, WBUR Today. If you like what you read and want it in your inbox, sign up here

Take it easy on the roads this morning. The overnight storm has left behind a slippery mix of snow and ice. Officials have temporarily lowered the Mass. Pike speed limit to 40 mph all the way from Boston to the New York border while crews treat the roads. And forecasters warn about the potential for a flash freeze across southern New England as the temperatures fall this morning.

(At least they finally got that stray Orange Line car off I-495.)

To the news:

Call her the “night czar,” the “night mayor” or — as the position’s Dutch pioneers would say — the “nachtburgemeester.” Boston has picked a person to take on the city’s supposedly boring nightlife. Mayor Michelle Wu’s administration announced yesterday that Corean Reynolds will serve as the city’s first-ever “Director of Nightlife Economy” to tackle “long-standing, urgent challenges facing Boston’s retention strategies, such as nightlife.”

  • Who is she? Reynolds — who was named as one of El Mundo Boston’s Latino 30 under 30 last year — currently works at the Boston Foundation, leading the nonprofit’s efforts to raise money and provide grants to Black and Latino entrepreneurs. (She can also probably show you up at karaoke; she was a child opera star who’s been on Oprah and performed internationally since she was 11.)
  • The task ahead: WBUR’s Walter Wuthmann reports that Reynolds thinks there “needs to be more than bars” keeping people out past midnight. “I love that the city prides itself on its sports and its pubs, but what else do we have to offer?” she asked reporters. Reynolds said she wants to support more events like last year’s popular Little Saigon night market in Dorchester.
  • The biggest challenge: Last year, The Boston Globe polled its readers on the greatest barriers facing the city’s nightlife. The answer: The MBTA. After the agency canceled its last attempt at late-night service in 2016, most of the system shuts down at 1 a.m. That makes it hard for not only night owls, but also night workers.
  • What’s next: Reynolds starts on March 6 and she plans to first focus first on revitalizing downtown nightlife, Wuthmann reports.

Meanwhile, 10 miles west: The Newton City Council passed an ordinance this week to permanently allow outdoor dining in public spaces like sidewalks and parking spaces from April to November. Mayor Ruthanne Fuller told WBUR’s Irina Matchavariani that she’ll “sign the measure as soon as the City Clerk delivers it.”

  • Zoom out: Pretty much every community in Massachusetts faces (or has faced) a similar decision on whether to make outdoor dining rules permanent. That’s due to the expiration of statewide emergency regulations on March 31 — unless state legislators renew the regulations first.

How will Andrea Campbell be a different attorney general than former AG-turned-Gov. Maura Healey? For one, maybe don’t expect to see Campbell suing the president 96 times. The new AG said yesterday on Radio Boston that “we have to strike a balance” between national and local issues. “Folks want us to pay attention to some national issues, of course, and protect us, but they don’t want us to forget the issues we have to deal with here at home,” she said.

  • Of course, there’s a lot more overlap between the former and current AG than there are differences. On those local issues, Campbell pledged to create “a gun enforcement unit” to work with local police departments to crackdown on those finding ways to bypass the state’s strict gun laws (for example, ghost guns or the mill in Littleton that has operated as an unchecked gun market).
  • Go deeper: Read more about the new gun enforcement unit and listen to Campbell’s full Radio Boston interview here.

Mark your calendar, old sport. A new musical adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” will make its world premiere at Harvard’s American Repertory Theater in 2024. “Gatsby” will also feature music by Florence + the Machine’s Florence Welch and pianist Thomas Bartlett. Who says our nightlife is boring!

P.S.— It’s time to nominate your favorite local up-and-coming artist of color for our annual Makers series. Who should we have on our radar? Whose work moves you? Who gives the cultural scene its electricity? Tell us! The nomination window is open now through April 2.


Nik DeCosta-Klipa Newsletter Editor
Nik DeCosta-Klipa is the newsletter editor for WBUR.



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