Happy Place—the Instagram selfie playground—is coming to Boston after pop-ups in Los Angeles, Chicago and Toronto.

If you want to understand what it means to be alive in America at this exact moment, here you will find your answers. It offers 12 curious, wacky rooms in which to take your photo at 500 Boylston St. from Friday, April 5, to June 2, 2019. It’s dazzling and bizarre and vacuous and silly and vaguely sad and also fun.

Blake “Brother Bones” Girndt from Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Blake “Brother Bones” Girndt from Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)

How fun it is depends greatly on whom you go with—and I went with a bunch of amazing folks. I invited the rock band Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys, who have been described as “a Dada-esque circus carnival run amuck.” Half the band joined me—Walter Sickert, Edrie, their 4-year-old daughter Wednesday, JoJo Lazar and Blake “Brother Bones” Girndt. They play at Oberon in Cambridge on Friday, April 12, and the Sinclair in Cambridge on May 2.

Also along for the adventure was poet Colleen Michaels, who hosts the nomadic Improbable Places Poetry Tour. The next reading is Saturday, April 13, from 4 to 6 p.m., at Paper Asylum comic book shop in Beverly. Folks will be reading poems on the theme of comics and superheroes.

Poet Colleen Michaels, host of the Improbable Places Poetry Tour, at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Poet Colleen Michaels, host of the Improbable Places Poetry Tour, at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)

“Happy Place was inspired by my mission to provide a beacon of positivity and encourage people to come together and embrace happiness,” according to founder Jared Paul, “a veteran talent manager and producer who manages New Kids on the Block and spearheaded the ‘Boston Strong’ benefit concert following the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.”

Happy Place offers the “Super Bloom room filled with 40,000 handmade gold flowers for the perfect photogenic floral backdrop, an Upside Down room that defies gravity and bends reality, six-foot tall X’s and O’s covered in thousands of mirrored squares and surrounded by red lips, the World’s Largest Indoor Confetti Dome, a Giant Rainbow complete with a Pot of Happiness to jump into, the signature Rubber Ducky Bathtub of Fun, the new and wildly popular Cookie Room, which is like stepping inside of your favorite chocolate chip cookie complete with the aroma of fresh baked cookies.”


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Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys (from left: JoJo Lazar, Edrie, Walter Sickert, Wednesday and Blake “Brother Bones” Girndt) at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys (from left: JoJo Lazar, Edrie, Walter Sickert, Wednesday and Blake “Brother Bones” Girndt) at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Walter Sickert from Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Walter Sickert from Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Poet Colleen Michaels, host of the Improbable Places Poetry Tour, at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Poet Colleen Michaels, host of the Improbable Places Poetry Tour, at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Walter Sickert from Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Walter Sickert from Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Edrie, Walter Sickert and Wednesday from Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Edrie, Walter Sickert and Wednesday from Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Blake “Brother Bones” Girndt from Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Blake “Brother Bones” Girndt from Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Poet Colleen Michaels, host of the Improbable Places Poetry Tour, at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Poet Colleen Michaels, host of the Improbable Places Poetry Tour, at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Wednesday from Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Wednesday from Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Blake “Brother Bones” Girndt and JoJo Lazar from Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Blake “Brother Bones” Girndt and JoJo Lazar from Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Blake “Brother Bones” Girndt from Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Blake “Brother Bones” Girndt from Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Poet Colleen Michaels, host of the Improbable Places Poetry Tour, at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Poet Colleen Michaels, host of the Improbable Places Poetry Tour, at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Eddie from Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Eddie from Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Walter Sickert, Wednesday and Blake “Brother Bones” Girndt from Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Walter Sickert, Wednesday and Blake “Brother Bones” Girndt from Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Walter Sickert and Wednesday from Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Walter Sickert and Wednesday from Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Blake “Brother Bones” Girndt from Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Blake “Brother Bones” Girndt from Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Poet Colleen Michaels, host of the Improbable Places Poetry Tour, at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Poet Colleen Michaels, host of the Improbable Places Poetry Tour, at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Blake “Brother Bones” Girndt from Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Blake “Brother Bones” Girndt from Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys at Happy Place in Boston, April 3, 2019. (Greg Cook)
Categories: Art