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Dispatches

Extremely rare coins make their way to Chicago; the Obamas visit Ireland; a Wild West theme park in Germany; Boston’s harbor gets a makeover; the 20th anniversary of Perry Farrell’s Lollapalooza.

BOSTON
Port Authority

Beantown’s harborfront makeover

— JON MARCUS

Charlie Nagle remembers when the Boston harborfront would go from bustling to desolate the moment the last shipment of fish went out. “After sundown, when the trucks were loaded up and gone, there was no one here,” says Nagle, whose family has run a wholesale seafood business here for four generations.

Now that wasteland of abandoned freight yards and dirt parking lots in the shadow of downtown has transformed seemingly overnight into a bona fide hotspot. “It’s like it happened in 10 minutes,” marvels Nagle.

The Seaport District, as it has been dubbed, has become the city’s new front yard, with wide patios along the harbor for alfresco dining and open-air live-music venues. The Boston-based Legal Sea Foods chain has opened the city’s largest restaurant here, Legal Harborside, occupying some 20,000 square feet on three floors, including a rooftop lounge. The Institute of Contemporary Art has a sleek home in a critically acclaimed Diller Scofidio+Renfro-designed building on the water. James Beard Award–winning chef Barbara Lynch’s French-inspired restaurant Menton won her yet another Beard nomination this year, this one for best new restaurant. And even the moddish Louis Boston clothing store moved here from its longtime home on swish Newbury Street.

“Things have definitely changed,” says Nagle, sitting amid portraits of his ancestors, the smell of raw fresh fish wafting from the warehouse. He looks out the window at the action. “It’s actually cool now.”

August 13
ALAPPUZHA, INDIA • “Snake boats” with teams of 100 compete at the Nehru Trophy Boat Race, where victory can mean a months-long party in a crew’s home village. www.nehrutrophy.nic.in

Through August 20
SANTA MONICA, CALIF. • At the Santa Monica Museum of Art, Marco Brambilla, an artist known for over-the-top video pieces, gets his first solo museum exhibition. www.smmoa.org

August 28-29
LONDON • Party animals will flock to West London for the Notting Hill Carnival’s 20 miles of colorful costumes, Caribbean food stalls and dance music. www.thenottinghillcarnival.com

September 2-4
NASHVILLE • You’ll find everything from mariachi to blues to Irish dance music to orchestral salsa at Music City’s free National Folk Festival. www.nationalfolkfestival.com

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