Here are the latest Back Bay - Midtown neighborhood notes:

Apéro de la rentrée for teens!

Who said that apéro should only be for adults?

Teens (13-18) are invited to join the French Cultural Center online from 5 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 9 for a fun evening where they will learn how to prepare a Saint Barths mocktail (alcohol-free) and make their own appetizer (recipes can be found on their website).

They group will discuss their favorite activities from summer break and what their bonnes résolutions are for starting fresh this new rentrée.

L’Apéritif is a staple in daily French life. The rules are really simple: share a drink, eat some snacks, and chat. It’s an interactive event so please don’t hesitate to participate. All levels of French welcome.

Visit for more information and Zoom registration (Members - $5 |

Non-members - $10).

‘Standing up, stepping forward and speaking out’

Watergate was a sea change in American politics. But even as a presidential scandal gripped the nation, there were remarkable displays of political courage as Republicans and Democrats found ways to work together for the good of the nation and wrote new rules to ensure transparency and integrity.

What can we learn from Watergate? Specifically, what can be learn from the people who stood up, stepped forward and spoke out against wrongs that they saw within their own party and among their friends? How can this help people to understand the role of collaborationists in the past and today and the need for political courage?

Join the Massachusetts Historical Society online from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 9 for “Standing Up, stepping forward and speaking out: The political courage to take a principled stand” - a conversation between John Dean, former White House Counsel to President Richard Nixon who was implicated in the Watergate scandal but later testified against Nixon; William Weld, a former Massachusetts Governor and US presidential candidate who began his legal career as a counsel on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee's impeachment inquiry staff for the impeachment process against Richard Nixon in 1974 and historian Edward Widmer.

Visit for more information and Zoom registration.

‘John Adams and China: Globalizing Early America’

John Adams consumed a lot of Chinese tea. He especially appreciated the medical benefits associated with the hot beverage. In a 1757 diary entry, he wrote that "nothing but large portions of tea" could extinguish his heartburn. How did Adams know that Chinese tea cured heartburn? Why did he believe that nothing else was as effective?

Join the Massachusetts Historical Society online from noon to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 10 as Yiyun Huang from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville examines the ways medical ideas transferred across the world during the eighteenth century.

Visit for more information and registration.

Seniors’ Chair Yoga

Join Boston Public Library and Yoga Hub for Seniors’ Chair Yoga from 2 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 10, Oct. 1, Nov. 5 and Dec. 3 via Zoom.

Seniors’ Chair Yoga is a gentle form of yoga that is practiced while sitting on a chair, or standing using a chair for support. People will learn calming postures and breathing techniques to open energy channels, release tension, and alleviate pain. This type of yoga is great for people to improve physical comfort, cultivate balance and move easily through daily activities. Participants will need an upright chair and computer or phone for the session.

Visit for more information and (early) registration.

Ciné-Club Online Discussion: 'Once in a Lifetime (Les Héritiers)'

The French Cultural Center will bring people back to school to celebrate la rentrée from 6 to 6:40 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 10. Meet new classmates and join Barbara for an online discussion in French after watching – at your leisure – "Once in a Lifetime (Les Héritiers)."

Based on a true story: A dedicated history teacher at a French high school, Anne Gueguen (Ariane Ascaride), is determined to give the best education she can to her underprivileged inner-city pupils. Frustrated but undaunted, Anne tests her multicultural classroom with a unique assignment: a national competition on the theme of child victims of the Nazi concentration camps. Despite their long-shot odds of winning, these once-rebellious teens soon begin to see one another – and themselves – in a whole new light.

The movie, by Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar, is available to watch on Amazon Prime.

Visit for more information and Zoom registration.

This is a free event; donations are appreciated.

Meet Pam Fessler, author of ‘Carville's Cure’

Join the Boston Public Library, American Ancestors/NEHGS, the State Library of Massachusetts and the WGBH Forum Network for an online talk from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 10 with Pam Fessler, author of Carville's Cure: Leprosy, Stigma and the Fight for Justice.

Dr. Laura Kolbe, physician, writer and book critic will moderate the discussion, which is part of the American Stories, Inspiration Today series.

Hear from acclaimed broadcast journalist Pam Fessler about the largely forgotten history of leprosy in the United States – its impact on patients and their families, doctors and, particularly, the swampy bayou town of Carville, Louisiana, where a “leprosarium” was established in 1894. Carville evolved into a nexus for research and “treatment” that came at a huge personal cost to liberty as patients were stripped of their names, their rights, and their dignity.

Understood today to be one of the least infectious diseases in the world, leprosy, now called Hansen’s disease, instilled a coronavirus-level of fear and an outsized reaction from public health authorities well into the 20th century.

Carville’s Cure chronicles in riveting detail how America treated, contained, and demonized its sufferers before wiser heads prevailed.

Visit and/or for more information and registration (

‘All roads lead to London: Supreme 19th century world city’

In this installment of the American Ancestors/NEHGS’s webinar series, Curt DiCamillo explores the bustling streets of 19th-century London, home to the extraordinary and outrageous Oscar Wilde, the sober Salvation Army, the modern museum and model prisons, the world’s first subway and the first flush toilet, the first city police force, Dickens, railroads, the Houses of Parliament, the first street lights, Buckingham Palace and Sherlock Holmes. Discover how London gave birth to the modern world from 4 to 5:15 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 11.

Visit for more information and Zoom registration.

‘Tai Chi for Wellness’

Join the Boston Public Library for “Tai Chi for Wellness” from 2 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17 and Oct. 8 via Zoom.

This program is an introduction to Tai Chi, an ancient exercise rooted in China that consists of gentle and flowing posture. Movements are slow and repetitive and are coupled with a focus on the breath.

Eddie is a Tai Chi (Taijichuan) instructor who has studied martial arts for the past 25 years. His training includes studying White Crane Kungfu and Qigong under Grandmaster Woo Ching, as well as Yang Style Taijichuan and Taiji Ball under Grandmaster Yang Jwing Ming.

Visit for more information and (early) registration.

2020 New England Regional Juried Exhibition

The Annual New England Regional Juried Exhibition is a juried show featuring the best of representational painting, drawing and sculpture by New England artists who work in the realist tradition.

The exhibition will be on view through Saturday, Sept. 26 in the historic President's Gallery at the Guild of Boston Artists, 162 Newbury St.

Gallery hours: Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and by appointment; Closed Sundays and Mondays.

Visit for more information.

Boston Ballet online

Enjoy a variety of behind-the-scenes videos, virtual choreography, performance clips, and articles on along with exclusive, ballet videos posted Mondays through Fridays at and/or

Support Boston Ballet at

Activist Kids Book Club with Innosanto Nagara

Calling all kids interested in working to make the world a better place. The Boston Public Library is kicking off a new Kid Activist Book Club with a special visit from activist and author Innosanto Nagara from 4 to 5 p.m. beginning on Saturday, Sept. 5.

The group will read A is for Activist and talk about what it means to be an activist.

Through the 26-week Activist Kids Book Club, the group will focus on a different page in A is for Activist, read other picture books about the issues and movements discussed in the book, learn about kid activists throughout history and today, and talk about what everyone can do to make the world a little more just.

This group is best for kids, ages 6 and up.

Questions can be directed to the Roslindale Branch Children's Librarian Miss Celeste at

Visit for more information and registration.

BSRA meeting on Sept. 12

The Boston Street Railway Association, Inc. (BSRA) is a non-profit organization devoted to preserving and promoting the history of public transportation in the Greater Boston area and New England since 1959.

The BSRA typically meets on the first Saturday of the month at 7:30 p.m. with a short business meeting followed by an entertainment program. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Due to the Labor Day holiday, the group will meet virtually on Sept. 12. The program is titled New Mass Transit for Honolulu.

Allan Jayne will show a 20-mile elevated rail rapid transit line under construction in Honolulu, Hawaii. Beginning in the southwest suburb of Kapolei amidst undeveloped land, it will serve key areas including the stadium, Pearl Harbor, the airport, and downtown Honolulu as well as many residential areas. He will present construction details, the progress of the construction to date, and projected socioeconomic trends that the line should bring.

Service on the outer half of the line should begin in late 2020 with full service to downtown expected in 2025. He will also give an overview of mule car and electric streetcar service in Honolulu around the turn of the last century.

The BSRA online store is open.

Rollsign, a bi-monthly publication on New England transit news and history, is also available.

Visit for more information.

Dream Boston: Playwright Q&A

Welcome to Dream Boston, a future vision of this city that is somewhere between dream and reality, powered by the Huntington and available to enjoy on your favorite podcast platforms.

Through short audio plays, “Dream Boston” asks local playwrights to imagine their favorite locations, landmarks and friends in a future Boston, when everyone can once again meet and thrive in this city:

“The 54th in '22” by Kirsten Greenidge

Set at the Robert Gould Shaw and the Massachusetts 54th Regiment Memorial on the edge of the Boston Common, May 31, 2022.

Directed by Rosalind Bevan, featuring Brandon G. Green and Lyndsay Allyn Cox

Playwright Q&A: What is your favorite Boston date spot?

“McKim” by Brenda Withers

Set in Bates Hall of the Boston Public Library’s McKim Building on Jan. 16, 2023

Directed by Rebecca Bradshaw, featuring actors Krystal Hernandez and Nael Nacer

Playwright Q&A: What was the last book you checked out of the library or what book would you like to check out?

“Overture” by Kate Snodgrass

Set at the MIT Great Dome on July 4, 2024

Directed by Caley Chase, featuring Elle Borders and Richard Snee

Sound design and engineering by Valentin Frank

Special thanks to the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops for the use of their recording of the "1812 Overture."

Playwright Q&A: What is your favorite 4th of July tradition?

“By the Rude Bridge” by Melinda Lopez

Set at the North Bridge at the Minuteman National Historical Park on Patriots' Day, April 19, 2025

Directed by Rebecca Bradshaw, featuring Lonnie Farmer

Sound design and engineering by Valentin Frank

Playwright Q&A: What is your favorite Boston landmark or fun fact?

Visit for more information and links to listen on your favorite podcast platforms.

Big Sister mentoring

Since 1951, the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston continues to make and support one-to-one mentoring relationships between thousands of women and girls each year.

The Big Sister professional staff matches a girl between the ages of 7 and 15 with a woman who is at least 20 years old, based on shared preferences and interests and continues to provide award-winning (virtual) support and guidance to each Big Sister, Little Sister, and Little sister’s family.

To learn more about how to become a Big Sister or to enroll a girl to become a Little Sister, visit

Boston Project Podcast

The Boston Project is SpeakEasy’s new works initiative that supports the creation of new plays set in Boston. In an effort to reach a wider audience and engage with new work even while in quarantine, SpeakEasy has launched a new wing of this program – the Boston Project Podcast.

The SpeakEasy will bring people the first series of the podcast – a fully adapted, episodic version of The Usual Unusual by MJ Halberstadt, recorded by local artists, with one episode released a week.

The podcasts will be available at as well as on all your favorite podcast streaming platforms.

Esplanade Association 2020 Moondance Gala

Based on the uncertainty surrounding the ongoing pandemic, the Esplanade Association has made the difficult decision to cancel the beloved Moondance Gala in 2020. After many conversations with chairs Carolina Säve-Natale, Bryan Natale, Margo Newman and Fred Newman, the safety of friends and supporters is their top priority. In addition, they determined it was not fiscally responsible to take on the financial risk associated with planning an event that could likely need to be cancelled at a later date.

The group thanks people who have considered making a gift to the Esplanade Association. People’s support of EA is more critical than ever before as this event typically makes up 50 percent of their operating revenue. All donations are fully tax deductible and people can use any means to send their support, including Donor Advised Funds.

Make gifts by using the secure online donation website below, using the Donor Advised Fund, giving appreciated securities or sending a check (payable to Esplanade Association) to Jim Diverio, Director of Development, Esplanade Association, 575 Boylston St., Suite 4R, Boston, MA 02116.

Call Jim Diverio at 617-837-2870 or visit for more information.

Early literacy playgroup (on Zoom)

Parents and caregivers with children, ages 3 years old and younger (although older siblings are welcome as well), to join Boston Public Library for an interactive program that includes playtime, conversation, and early literacy information from 11:30 a.m. to noon on Monday, Sept. 14 and Sept. 21 on Zoom.

Visit for more information, including required registration. Zoom link will be sent to registered participants.

Facebook Live Story Time: Tuesday Tales

Join the Children’s Library team for a live-streamed story time for children, ages 2 to 4 years old, from 10:30 to 11 a.m. on Tuesdays through Oct. 27 at

Visit for more information.

Jackbox Party Gaming for Teens on Twitch

Teens in grades 6 through 12 are invited to join the BPL Teen Librarians for Jackbox Party Gaming on Twitch from 1 to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays through Sept. 16 in the Virtual Teen Room.

They’ll host a series of wacky, irreverent online games, all of which are designed to be played by large audiences.

Visit for more details, including registration.

Just Writing: A poetry workshop

When the world gets delayed and your truth sits silent inside, just write!

Join the Boston Public Library for Just Writing, an online poetry writing workshop hosted by Toni Bee – storyteller, community advocate and Poet Populist emeritus, of Cambridge from 7 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays through Sept. 16.

Topics will include nature, free writes, Prince and “the things you miss.”

Visit for more information and registration.

‘The Struggle for Freedom: Patriots of Color at Bunker Hill’

The Shirley-Eustis House Association, Boston National Historical Park and the Gibson House Museum will host an online presentation followed by a Q&A at noon on Tuesday, Sept. 15 and at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 24 highlighting the lives of four Black men – some enslaved, some free – who fought against the British at the Battle of Bunker Hill in June 1775.

Barzillai Lew, Cuff Blanchard-Chambers, Cuff Whittemore and Jude Hall were among the thousands of men of color who chose to fight with the Patriots in a war that seemed to hold no explicit promise of liberty for Black people.

Boston National Historical Park staff members Merrill Kohlhofer and Gabriella Hornbeck have combed through archival records and recent research to piece together the stories of these four men and their reasons for supporting the Patriot cause. The presentation offers a sample of the growing efforts among historians to revisit and revise the conventional stories we tell about the American Revolution.

This event is free of charge and open to the public.

For more information and registration, visit or

Boston Athenæum open for members

Boston Athenæum, 10½ Beacon St. offers many activities online free of charge, serving their members, the Boston community, and beyond.

At the same time, their building has re-opened for members to use the reading rooms (by appointment) and take advantage of book pick-up and drop-off in the lobby following COVID-19 protocols. Please phone (617) 720-7604 with questions and to reserve time in the building.

Library hours: Mondays through Thursdays - 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Visit for more information.

Free Bluebikes passes for essential workers

To assist re-opening efforts, the City of Boston is offering free Bluebikes passes to help people get to work at hospitals, grocery stores, pharmacies, or at restaurants and retail establishments in Boston (and other nearby areas) through Sept. 30.

Visit for more information, including pass applications.

Two new exhibits at Pucker Gallery

Two new exhibitions will be on view at the Pucker Gallery, 240 Newbury St. (third floor) through Sept. 20.

A booklet with colorful illustrations outlining the exhibition of Ongoing Conversation: Birds in the Art of Samuel Bak and a fine collection of art depicted in Fine Choices 2020 are available for perusing online for the gallery viewing.

Visit for more information, including gallery hours.

‘BENDING LINES: Maps and Data from Distortion to Deception’

From 17th century attempts to woo European settlers to the New World with maps that exaggerated natural resources, to a 2019 Sharpie-enhanced weather map designed to reshape the politics of disaster planning, maps and visual data have always been tools for manipulating reality.

In a wide-ranging, year-long initiative comprising exhibitions, programs and educational activities, “BENDING LINES: Maps and Data from Distortion to Deception” at the Boston Public Library’s Leventhal Map & Education Center (Copley Square), offers a critical look at how to understand the world as it appears in geographic representations.

The show features historical and contemporary documents and interactive displays designed to show visitors the power of persuasive mapmaking and will be on view through May 2021.

Visit for more information.

BPL To Go and more

The Boston Public Library has launched the new “BPL to Go” program at 22 of the 26 locations.

Using the library website, phone line or the “BPL to Go” iPhone app, patrons will be able to “order” (place a hold on) items such as books, DVDs, and CDs and pick them up at the library. BPL has “Printing to Go” as well.

All branches will continue to offer a wide range of digital events and online resources.

Visit to learn more.

Copley Square Farmers’ Market open

The Copley Square Farmers’ Market – Boston’s biggest and busiest – will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays through Nov. 24.

The Farmers’ Market will offer a vibrant selection of local and delicious produce and meat from more than two dozen Massachusetts farmers.

Copley Square vendors accept SNAP/EBT/HIP/Nutrition Vouchers for all eligible products.

Visit for more information - including shopping protocol.

Genealogy for the next generation

Several free, easy-to-do fun activities that will keep kids entertained and get them thinking about their family history are available at

These exercises are designed to teach critical skills while encouraging kids to explore their personal connection to the past. Studies show that young people who know facts about their heritage have a stronger sense of self, which can help them perform better in school and life.

Common Cathedral and Boston Warm programs need help

Common Cathedral and Boston Warm programs under the umbrella of Ecclesia Ministries at Emmanuel Church (15 Newbury St.) needs partners to help them serve the increasing number of homeless and underserved during this critical time.

There are three specific ways that you can help make a difference:

1) Donate supplies listed on their Amazon account.

2) Donate individually wrapped homemade or purchased sandwiches, soft fruits and granola bars.

3) Donate your time, your treasures (donations) and your prayers – they are always welcomed and valued.

Visit for other information, including links to keep this mission alive.

Friday Night Supper Program emergency appeal

The Friday Night Supper program (FNSP) at the Arlington Street Church – the longest running program in Boston – has served more than 13,000 meals a year to more than 130 guests from all over Boston since 1984.

Your donations make a difference in the lives of people in need, whether through philanthropic dollars or individual gifts of money, clothing, toiletries and gift cards. Help fill the gap with their Emergency Appeal so they can continue their mission.

Visit to make a donation.

Support Women’s Lunch Place

Women’s Lunch Place, 67 Newbury St. continues to serve women while maintaining all three of their core services areas – healthy meals, direct care and advocacy.

WLP is open every day from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and provides one take out package that contains a nutritious breakfast and lunch with extra snacks to sustain their guests.

Women’s Lunch Place needs donations – money, gift cards, toiletries, underwear and other basic necessities – to keep their mission going.

Visit for more information.

Free summer ‘grab-and-go’ meals for children and adults

The City of Boston, in partnership with Project Bread, YMCA of Greater Boston, Boston Centers for Youth and Families and other community organizations, will provide free “grab and go” meals for Boston residents (adults and children) in need. No ID required.

Visit and/or for a list of meal sites. There will also be a list of food pantries and soup kitchens.

Phone 617-635-3717 or email with questions or concerns or for other information.

If you need additional food resources, contact Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline at 800-645-8333.