52 ways to leave 2009

By SHAULA CLARK  |  December 30, 2009

At the top of the free heap, so to speak, is RED BULL'S SLED STYLE, which transforms the howling wasteland of City Hall Plaza (One City Hall Square, Boston; 617.635.4000; cityofboston.gov) into a snowmobile stunt pit, thanks to some 13 truckloads of snow they'll be dumping on Mayor Menino's concrete patio. There, some of the world's best freestyle snowmobilers — including Winter X games champ Heath Frisby — will be flipping their shit over insane manmade slopes. It all goes down from 2 pm to 5 pm. Don't miss.

On pretty much the opposite end of the adrenaline spectrum is the Museum of Fine Arts' (465 Huntington Avenue, Boston; 617.267.9300; mfa.org) FREE COMMUNITY DAY from 10 am to 4:45 pm. (Don't get us wrong — our hearts go plenty pitter-pat over the Egyptian wing; it's just that MFA security tends to frown on sick jumps.)


Many of you will spend the first day of 2010 curled up in the fetal position on the couch, hovering over some kind of makeshift puke spittoon while nursing a bottle of grape PediaLyte. (Hey, there's a reason New Year's has an infant for a mascot.) If this is you, you're still in good shape to catch the sold-out BRUINS-FLYERS outdoor Winter Classic hockey game at Fenway Park at 1 pm on NBC. Besides, risking hypothermia to watch dudes knock the stuffing out of each other with sticks is for chumps.

Meanwhile, anyone not held completely hostage by their angry innards should consider breaking in the new year with a slew of tres-early 2010 goings-on.

If your hangover's not too severe, you could start things off with a NEW YEAR'S DAY BUFFET BRUNCH AT ASANA (776 Boylston Street, Boston; 617.535.8800; mandarinoriental.com/boston/dining/asana), the absurdly rich fare of which — including caviar with brioche toast, capers, and onions, or roasted prime strip loin with horseradish cheese and mustard — should be a real test for diners who are still feeling last night's screwdrivers sloshing around in their guts. (Their "exotic fruit" smoothies sound a bit less decadent, but far more merciful.) The grub's on tap from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm, with spots going for $78 a head. For those with more of an aural fixation, head to Ryles (212 Hampshire Street, Cambridge; 617.876.9330; rylesjazz.com) for their JAZZ BRUNCH, starting at 10 am. The combo of strawberry mimosas and Tin Pan Alley standards from longtime Ryles crooner PATRICIA ADAMS ought to wipe some of the static out of your brain.

Then treat those bleary, bloodshot eyeballs to the visual delights awaiting at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, which is celebrating FIRST DAY FREE from 11 am to 5 pm. Meanwhile, in Harvard Square, the Brattle Theatre (40 Brattle Street, Cambridge; 617.876.6837; brattlefilm.org) busts out its annual MARX BROTHERS MARATHON, screening Animal Crackers at 1:30 pm, Horse Feathers at 3:30 pm, Duck Soup at 5:15 pm, A Night at the Opera (a film that just blew out 75 candles on its birthday cake) at 7 pm, and A Day at the Races at 9 pm.

Continue the retro theme and cap off the night at the Middle East upstairs (472 Mass Ave, Cambridge; 617.864.EAST; mideastclub.com), where DESTROY BABYLON celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Clash's London Calling by playing the album straight through, from the title track to "Train in Vain" (9 pm; $10 advance, $12 day-of). Or if you're feeling sinister, head to T.T. the Bear's Place (10 Brookline Street, Cambridge; 617.492.BEAR; ttthebears.com) with A HEROES BLOODY HANGOVER. At  "Heroes" (9 pm–2 am; $7), every day is Halloween circa 1986; should you submit to the New Wave and classic goth/industrial curations of preternaturally crowd-pleasing DJ Chris Ewen, it'll be like 2010 never even came in the first place.

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Related: Ghost stories, Wanting more, Photos: Boston expressionism at Danforth Museum, More more >
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