From bunnies to wizards: Metro Boston's best of 2015 - Metro US

From bunnies to wizards: Metro Boston’s best of 2015

This year, there were a plethora of odd and interesting stories throughout the Boston area: bunnies and bummer beer laws, wizards and warriors, chicken queens and T-stop works of art.

As yet another head-scratcher of a New England season comes to an end and Boston heads into a new wintry chapter, we pulled together some of our most popular, only-in-Metro stories of 2015.

Meet the Pit Wizard

Odds are, if you’ve gone to concerts and festivals in Boston in the past 30 years, you’ve seen the Wizard standing guard.

“Tossing people off stage back into the crowd is the fun part,” Jeff Freedman said. “That never gets old. If it’s a punk or metal or hardcore show, that’s the part that stage divers live for. I know the difference between someone coming over the barricade to have fun versus someone looking for trouble. It’s very rare I have to get physical with people.”

The Opioid Warrior fights back

Frances Armstrong’s 15-year-old daughter had been missing for 34 days after she took off with a friend who was caught up in the riptide of the ongoing opioid crisis. Her daughter was afflicted by addiction too, and was in over her head. The police and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were doing all that they could to come up with any leads on her whereabouts. But once Billy Pfaff got in on the search, her stint as a runaway was up.

Flock of urban chicken farmers grows

A backyard chicken farmer of six years, Khrysti Smyth offers classes, consultations and coop-building services. Her work has earned her the title “Chickeness of Somerville.”

“One way of looking at it is I’m a backyard chicken concierge.”

Cambridge girl takes on Islamophobia

She was in third grade the first time a boy in her class called her a terrorist. People won’t sit next to her on the bus when she wears her hijab. Without it, people sit in the open seat without a second thought. Even living in a city as diverse and progressive as Cambridge, Sumaiya Mahee, 13, encounters some form of prejudice on a daily basis for her faith and heritage.

Free beer in Boston is tricky business

“Having laws that are not so strict, the benefit is that people would go to more events — cooler events – and feel more comfortable throwing great parties without getting into trouble,” said Michelle McCormack, a prominent Boston event organizer who runs Secret Boston .

Government Center murals commute to living rooms

Big rectangular windows to 1970s Boston, the murals hung for decades in Government Center, slowly collecting grime and cementing their place in the minds of Hub commuters as iconic pieces of public art.

Now, they’re off to new homes, to grace the walls of T enthusiasts’ living rooms and offices with one-of-a-kind public transit showpieces.

Bunnies: Boston’s latest infestation

An infestation of urban-dwelling creatures usually causes people to gag or get the frights, but one furry city animal is taking over Boston’s terrain — and winning its residents’ hearts.Boston is known to be home to many creatures people look to avoid: Rats, squirrels, mice, roaches, pigeons, seagulls, mosquitos, plenty of other bugs and birds, raccoons, possums, and sometimes a few Yankees and Lakers fans.

But the city is experiencing the most adorable annual “infestation” imaginable: bunnies.

Boston builds for the virtual reality boom

The revolution will be virtualized — and Boston will be ready.

That’s what the developers, artists and businesspeople of the Boston/Cambridge virtual reality community told Metro as we dove deep into the up-and-coming world of VR.

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