Axios Boston

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Hello Wednesday, my old friend.

Today's weather: Chance of rain with a high near 71.

πŸŽ‚Happy birthday to Axios Boston member Ken Sherman!

Today's newsletter is 780 words β€” a 3--minute read.

1 big thing: Harvard camp's no more

Harvard Medical School faculty member, Dr. Lara Jirmanus speaks for the Harvard Out of Palestine coalition which held a press conference outside Harvard Yard. Photo: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The last Boston-area pro-Palestinian encampment came down yesterday in Harvard Yard.

Why it matters: Unlike the other tents at nearby colleges, the Harvard encampment ended without a raid or arrests β€” just a resolve to continue protesting in other ways.

Catch up fast: The Harvard Out of Occupied Palestine (HOOP) coalition yesterday announced it would end its encampment after nearly three weeks.

  • The group said in a statement "the utility of this tactic has passed, and we have decided to regroup and carry out this protracted struggle through other means."

Between the lines: The end of the spring semester was always considered an unofficial deadline that would reveal whether the protests would outlast finals and commencement and whether college officials would yield to demands to cut financial and research ties to the Israeli government.

State of play: HOOP organizers and university president Alan Garber negotiated a peaceful end to the protests on a few conditions.

  • The administration agreed to retract suspensions and hold meetings with organizers about disclosure and divestments, per HOOP's statement.
  • The administration agreed to start reinstating at least 22 students from involuntary leaves of absence, the Harvard Crimson reported.
  • Harvard agreed to expedite administrative board cases for more than 60 students facing charges for participating in the encampment with "precedents of leniency for similar actions in the past," per the Crimson.

What they're saying: "There will continue to be deep disagreements and strongly felt emotions as we experience pain and distress over events in the wider world," Garber wrote, per an email sent yesterday.

  • "Now more than ever, it is crucial to do what we do at our best, creating conditions for true dialogue, modeling ways to build understanding, empathy, and trust, and pursuing constructive change anchored in the rights and responsibilities we share."

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2. πŸ“Ί The one where Steph tries "The Friends Experience"

How you doin'? Photo: Courtesy of The Friends Experience

Steph here. I got an early look at "The Friends Experience," an exhibit that opens Friday and runs until mid-January.

The intrigue: If the 2019 Friends pop-up at Time Out Market is any indication, the installation will draw "Friends" superfans from across New England to celebrate the TV show's 30th anniversary.

  • The tour was wasted on me, a casual fan at best, but the spokesperson who guided me insists it's a good time for anyone vaguely familiar with the show. She wasn't wrong.

What to know: The installation opens Friday morning at 343 Newbury St., down the street from the Central Perk coffee shop that opened last year.

  • Tickets start at $22, plus taxes and fees, with bundles and photo packages available for more.
  • The gift shop is open to the public, even if you don't buy a ticket.

The interactive displays span three floors (there's escalator and elevator access) and range from a replica of both apartment sets, wigs depicting Rachel's hair and the infamous "pivot" couch.

  • Here's what I saw.
A photo of a wall with a ticket painted on the wall at "The Friends Experience" in Boston. This recreates what the first live studio audience ticket for the show, "Friends Like Us" looked like before the showrunners even finalized the title.
This recreates what the first live studio audience ticket for the show looked like before the showrunners even finalized the title. Photo: Steph Solis/Axios
A large off-white couch, replicating Ross' infamous "pivot" show on "Friends," hangs against a stair bannister at "The Friends Experience" in Boston.
A replica of the infamous couch (before it was split in half). It'll also be a big photo-opp spot for visitors. Photo: Steph Solis/Axios
A replica of the guys' apartment set on "Friends", complete with Hugsy plush sitting on one of two black recliners. It's at "The Friends Experience," a new installation in Boston.
A replica of the guys' apartment, complete with Hugsy. Visitors are encouraged to take a seat or pore through the room in search of Easter eggs. Photo: Steph Solis/Axios

Keep reading: An ode to "Smelly Cat."

3. πŸ”™ Back That Mass Up: Bruins stay alive

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The Bruins hung on in a must-win game against the Florida Panthers to stay alive in the playoffs. (ESPN)

Marian Manor, a nursing facility in South Boston, will close this summer after 70 years. (Reporter)

  • The Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm, who run the facility, wrote in a statement that they couldn't find a partner to redevelop the site or create a viable plan to manage growing costs, a nursing shortage and other pressures.

⛳️ City zoning officials approved plans to replace the former Crate & Barrel store on Boylston Street with Swingers, an upscale mini-golf venue for adults. (BBJ)

Three men who were charged in the 2018 prison killing of gangster James "Whitey" Bulger reached plea deals with prosecutors. (AP)

4. 🎀 Boston Calling's best artist

A bracket shows the best Boston Calling artist based on the 2024 lineup according to Axios Boston readers. The chart shows 16 initial matchups, with artists scheduled to perform at the festival. Notable winners of the first round include Young The Giant, Leon Bridges, Megan thee Stallion and The Killers.
Bracket: Axios Visuals

Ed Sheeran, Luke Hemmings and Tyler Childers are out of the running for the best Boston Calling artist of 2024, thanks to you readers.

What now: Voting is open for Round 2 of our bracket, and some big names are facing off.

Matchups to watch: The beloved indie band Young the Giant faces pop star Renee Rapp, who has stolen the hearts of queer music fans nationwide.

  • Singer-songwriter Leon Bridges is up against English punk and folk singer Frank Turner and his band.
  • The Hozier vs. The Killers matchup feels like present-day millennials will be fighting against their 20-year-old selves.

Steph's thought bubble: I can't be objective about this. Keep Megan Thee Stallion and Leon Bridges in the running, or I'm coming for you.

  • For legal reasons, this is a joke.

Cast your vote.

Sponsored event listings

Future events

πŸ“† Start planning your days ahead.

Global Cinema Film Festival of Boston at Capitol Theatre starts Friday: Through the visual language of film, embark on a journey exploring sensitive stories captured by unflinching lenses held by filmmakers with the audacity to inform, inspire and visually transport audiences to places near and far.

Hosting an event? Email [email protected] for 50% off your first event feature!

5. 🫀 Where's Townie? Yamba Market

Some art at Yamba Market. Photo: Steph Solis

Earlier this week, we asked you to guess where Townie had gone. She went to Yamba Market in Cambridge's Central Square.

  • Not to buy cannabis, but to admire the art before you get to the dispensary.

Sadly, no one got this one. Do better!

Deehan is going to actually use his porch this year instead of just looking at it through the window.

Steph is going to surprise their friend's baby with a Hugsy plush. Either he'll love it or make this face.

This newsletter was edited by Jeff Weiner and copy edited by James Farrell.