The city's pursuit of a richer late-night culture will not go unnoticed as thousands of Boston students move-in this week, with classes slated to begin after Labor Day.
The spring semester wrapped up around the time Boston Mayor Martin Walsh formed a task force comprised of students, restaurant and bar owners, and business leaders to investigate ways the city can enrich its late-night culture.
So far, the city's biggest accomplishment on that front has been the introduction of later weekend MBTA service, and although a measure to keep bars and restaurants open until 4 a.m. was nixed from this year's budget, there is promise that the city is headed in the right direction.
In addition to extended bar hours, the task force is also honing in on liquor license restrictions, entertainment licenses, and late-night public safety requirements. Boston’s street lights may even burn a little later.
For incoming freshman Liz Hamer, an 18-year-old Maryland native, the city's push for more late-night fun was one of the many draws of attending Emerson College.
"The DC [subway system] closes at 11 p.m. everyday, so it was always a hassle. We had to leave movies half way through just to get home on time," said Hamer. "So I do appreciate the Boston T being open later.”
Hamer was one of hundreds of students to swarm Boylston Street Tuesday as Emerson opened its dorm doors to new students.
Fellow freshman Zach Holden, 18, of Wisconsin hadn't yet heard of Boston's late-night push, but said it was a welcome surprise.
"I’ve always wanted to come here because it’s a comfortable place, and I really like cities. I don’t really party, but it seems like a perfect place go out and try new things.”
But for upperclassmenall too familiar with Boston's previously early-to-bed ways, Boston's social scene is looking bright.
"In past years, a lot of students would complain about how we’d have to come back so early when we go out," said Erin Corrigan, 21. "So I think it’s definitely a big draw for people our age if Boston becomes more of a late-night city.”
Though there is still a ways to go, Long Island native Gina Brindisi said she is optimistic that the city will continue on its youth-friendly path.
"The fact that the T is open even later now makes it that much better, because I’m used to the subways in New York that are 24 hours," said Brindisi, 19. "I think the city already has the young vibe because it’s such a college city, but I think it’s only going to get better.”