Here are the latest Back Bay - Midtown neighborhood notes:

BSRA meeting on Sept. 12

The Boston Street Railway Association, Inc. (BSRA) will meet virtually at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12. The program is titled New Mass Transit for Honolulu. All are welcome.

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.

Visit for more information.

Ride the Vote

Roll out for a cause and register to vote.

Join the Freedom Fighters Coalition from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 13 as they ride from Franklin Park to Nubian Square to the Boston Common for voting registration and to continue the fight for social justice (rain date is Sept. 20).

The Coalition is looking for riders, volunteers and donations (for snacks, water, etc.).

They welcome and encourage people of all ages to come outside with them and get active.

And like always... the people, united, will never be defeated.

Contact the Freedom Fighters Coalition on IG @ffcof2020.

For more information, visit or #BlackLivesMatter.

Barre en francais

Join the French Cultural Center for a morning barre class that will help you to focus on your strength, core stability, flexibility, muscle control, posture and breathing from the comfort of your home from 9 to 10 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 14 via Zoom.

This event is in French. All levels of French and barre welcome.

Visit to register for the Zoom link. (Members - $7; Non-members - $10).

Author talk: Nancy Pearl

Join the Boston Public Library for a talk with Nancy Pearl, co-author of The Writer's Library: The Authors You Love on the Books That Changed Their Lives from 1 to 2 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 14, moderated by Sharon Shaloo, Executive Director of Massachusetts Center for the Book.

With a foreword by Susan Orlean, 23 of today's living literary legends, including Donna Tartt, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Andrew Sean Greer, Laila Lalami,and Michael Chabon, reveal the books that made them think, brought them joy and changed their lives in this intimate, moving and insightful collection from "American's Librarian" Nancy Pearl and noted playwright Jeff Schwager that celebrates the power of literature and reading to connect us all.

Visit for more information and Zoom registration.

The Boston Red Sox and WWII

In this 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, join Boston Red Sox historian Gordon Edes and a panel of distinguished authors to discuss the role of Major League Baseball players from Boston in the conduct of that historic conflict from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 14, hosted by the Massachusetts Historical Society.

The story touches upon Ted Williams, a Naval flight instructor who would later fly combat missions for the Marines in the Korean War. It also tells of compelling acts of sacrifice and bravery performed by other big-leaguers from Boston, including Si Rosenthal and Earl Johnson of the Red Sox and Warren Spahn of the Braves.

Visit for more information and registration. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.

‘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

How athlete Katherine Switzer made history

Join the Boston Public Library in partnership with the WGBH Forum Network for an online Lowell Lecture with Kathrine Switzer, author of Marathon Woman: Running the Race to Revolutionize Women's Sports from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 15.

BPL President David Leonard will moderate this program, which is part of their "Arc of History: Contested Perspectives" series.

In her book, Switzer describes how she registered to compete, saying, “there was nothing about gender in the marathon. I filled in my AAU number, plunked down $3 cash as entry fee, signed as I always sign my name, 'K.V. Switzer' and went to the university infirmary to get a fitness certificate.”

During the marathon she was accosted by race officials who tried to take away her bib number. As a result of Switzer’s act, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) banned women from competing in races against men until 1972 when the Boston Marathon established an official women's race.

Visit and/or for more information and Zoom registration.

Living Room Conversations: ‘Power of Empathy’

The Boston Public Library will host Living Room Conversations from 11 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Sept. 16. The topic of conversation is the “Power of Empathy.”

Empathy can bridge our “us vs. them” perceptions and lead to new solutions, improved relationships, better strategies for social change, reduction in loneliness and realization of our shared human needs and oneness. This conversation is about sharing experiences giving, receiving and observing empathy.

Facilitated by library staff members, these conversations offer a simple, sociable and structured way to practice communicating across differences while building understanding and relationships. Participants will be able to take turns talking to share and learn.

Registration is required at Zoom online meeting link will be emailed to registered participants two days before the event.

‘Pilgrims' Progress: Music of the Plimoth Colony Settlers’

Karen Burciaga, Dan Meyers, and Matthew Wright of Seven Times Salt will present “Pilgrims' Progress: Music of the Plimoth Colony Settlers - 1590-1645” from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 16 - hosted by the Massachusetts Historical Society.

The Plimoth colonists were a diverse group of Separatists and Anglicans, English and Dutch, some religious and some not. They brought with them varied music experiences and the Plimoth Colony heard not only psalms but also catches, ballads, and dance tunes.

Follow the settlers from England to religious refuge in the Netherlands and onward to the early years of Plimoth.

People will hear music of the Elizabethan tavern and theater, spirited drinking songs, Dutch love songs, psalms from Sternhold & Hopkins’ Whole Booke of Psalmes, and traditional English country dance tunes.

Visit for more information and registration. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.

‘A People's Guide to Greater Boston’

Join authors Joseph Nevins, Suren Moodliar, and Eleni Macrakis for an online talk about their timely new book, A People's Guide to Greater Boston, from 6 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 16.

A People's Guide to Greater Boston reveals the region’s richness and vibrancy in ways that are neglected by traditional area guidebooks and obscured by many tourist destinations.

Affirming the hopes, interests and struggles of individuals and groups on the receiving end of unjust forms of power, the book showcases the ground-level forces shaping the city.

Uncovering stories and places central to people’s lives over centuries, this guide takes readers to sites of oppression, resistance, organizing, and transformation in Boston and outlying neighborhoods and municipalities – Lawrence, Lowell and Lynn to Concord and Plymouth. It highlights tales of the places and people involved in movements to abolish slavery; to end war and militarism; to achieve Native sovereignty, racial equity, gender justice and sexual liberation; and to secure workers’ rights.

In so doing, this one-of-a-kind guide points the way to a radically democratic Greater Boston, one that sparks social and environmental justice and inclusivity for all.

Visit for more information and registration.

WLP Young Professionals Zoom Trivia Night

Want to enjoy a night of fun trivia and networking while supporting women in need? Round up your friends and virtually mix and mingle at Women’s Lunch Place Young Professional's Zoom Trivia Night from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 16.

Assemble your own team or join as a single to meet other up-and-coming YP's in the Boston area and show off your trivia knowledge.

Your support will help Women’s Lunch Place continue to provide life-sustaining healthy meals, support services, and personal safety supplies to countless women in need.

To reserve a spot, visit

To learn more about this event and WLP Young Professionals, visit

‘Beyond the Page: A WGBH Book Club’

The WGBH “Beyond the Page Book Club” will virtually meet at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 16 to watch as Callie Crossley, host of Basic Black and Under the Radar with Callie Crossley, and the author Elise Hooper discuss all the intricacies of the novel, Fast Girls. A live Q&A with those tuning in will round out the discussion.

Elise Hooper explores the gripping, real-life history of female athletes, members of the first integrated women’s Olympic team, and their journeys to the 1936 summer games in Berlin, Nazi Germany.

Join WGBH Facebook group for reading goals to help keep you on track and for additional discussion.

Northern New England resources at American Ancestors

David Allen Lambert and Melanie McComb will present Northern New England Resources at American Ancestors from 3 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17.

In the 17th and early 18th centuries, Maine (then part of Massachusetts), New Hampshire, and Vermont were considered frontier lands for the early New England colonists. Whether you are researching these states during the colonial period or present day, there are certain record sets and go-to resources that you should be aware of. This session will review various study projects, databases, manuscript items, and other resources available through American Ancestors that can assist you in researching northern New England.

Visit for more information and registration.

Leventhal Map Center and BPL Special Collections Trivia Night

The Leventhal Map & Education Center and the Department of Special Collections at the Boston Public Library invites people to the second installation of their jointly sponsored trivia night from 8 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17, where they challenge participants to discover the collections of the Boston Public Library and learn more about the history of the city of Boston.

Some of the trivia rounds will feature a geographic scavenger hunt using Atlascope, the Map Center's user-friendly tool that provides access to hundreds of historic maps of Boston and surrounding areas.

Others will feature images and objects from the special collections departments available in Digital Commonwealth.

Prizes of maps of Boston will be awarded to winning individuals or teams.

Registration at Eventbrite is optional, but recommended.

The event will be broadcast over the Leventhal Map & Education Center's YouTube channel ( Facebook Live (

Shofar/tashlich family ceremonies

Join Chabad of Downtown Boston and get into the High Holiday spirit and celebrate with a brief Rosh Hashanah family-friendly celebration on Sunday, Sept. 20. Services are open to all and are free of charge.

All services will be held outdoors following all MA health guidelines as follows:

9:30-10 a.m. – Shofar ceremony at Copley Place (on the stairs of the Boston Public Library)

The short ceremony includes shofar blowing, pre-packaged Rosh Hashanah treats for children and brief holiday inspiration.

5:30-6 p.m. – Shofar and Tashlich ceremony at the Public Garden (at the swan boat dock)

The short ceremony includes shofar blowing, pre-packaged Rosh Hashanah treats for children and tashlich ceremony, when people symbolically throw their mistakes in the water.

Reservation appreciated (but not required).

Visit for more information.

Activist Kids Book Club

The Boston Public Library is hosting the Kid Activist Book Club from 4 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays through Mar. 20

Throughout the 26-weeks, 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.

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.

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.

Seniors’ Chair Yoga

Join Boston Public Library and Yoga Hub for Seniors’ Chair Yoga from 2 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, 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.

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.

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.

Dream Boston: Five-minute audio plays

Welcome to Dream Boston, a future vision of this city that is somewhere between dream and reality, powered by the Huntington Theatre.

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 the city.

These micro-plays take place at locations such as the MIT Great Dome on the 4th of July while the sounds of the “1812 Overture” float in the background, at the Boston Public Library during a minor dust-up between two bookworms, and a not-so-perfect first date on the edge of the Boston Common.

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.

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.

‘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.

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.

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.

Boston Ballet

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

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.

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.

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.

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.