Downtown - Fort Point - Leather District - Seaport neighborhood notes

Staff Writer
Link Boston Homes

Snowmazing time at BCM

Jack Frost will be visiting the Boston Children’s Museum throughout December and bringing winter wonder, fun and friends with him.

Festive hands-on exhibits will be transformed into winter wonderlands and new programs and holiday activities, such as helping to decorate the giant Wonder Tree (The New Balance Climb), playing in the Winter Village, skating on the sock skating rink, iceberg jumping, tossing snowballs, among other fun, will be available for all to enjoy.

The fun also includes special workshops and virtual activities to make your own gifts for family and friends. Gift Making Workshops at the Museum will be held at 10 a.m. and at 2 p.m. on Dec. 12, 13, 19, 20.

It will be a Snowmazing time.

Visit for more information and tickets.

Chinese brush painting for adults: Pandas

Pandas have been admired for adorably lumbering around and eating bamboo in the mountains of China. Take advantage of the opportunity to paint these lovable animals using Chinese watercolor techniques before the winter holiday season. Relax, create and meditate with Chinese brushstrokes.

The Pao Center will host a beginner, relaxed-paced class taught in Mandarin Chinese only from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12 via Zoom.

Visit for more information (including a supply list) and registration ($15 per class | Students are responsible for supplies. $35 per class including supplies picked up at Pao Arts Center or mailed at additional cost.)

Bulfinch Crossing projection

Pamela Hersch’s piece ‘Float’ is a digital artwork that seamlessly integrates on the beams and ceiling of the underpass at Bulfinch Crossing with the images projected. This project transforms the space by bringing animal-inspired animated artwork through engaging slow movement, color changes and shifting shapes.

In addition to Hersch’s visuals, the second iteration of the Underpass Projections features music created by musician and fellow Berklee alumna, Ella Joy Meir. Meir worked closely with Hersch to create a one-of-a-kind, site-specific piece of music to accompany the visual artwork. The music starts and ends with ambience Hersch recorded at the underpass. The street noise morphs into a lush and ethereal landscape: layers of synths, Meir’s voice, animal sounds, train honks and ocean waves.

To enjoy the full experience, viewers can listen to Meir’s piece while viewing Hersch’s artwork by following QR codes located on site.

Given the current climate, this installation will be made available as a “drive through” art installation where viewers are encouraged to drive, bike or walk through the underpass to experience this epic art piece in person.

People can also view on their website. Learn more at

‘Unsung Heroes’ panel discussion

The Chinese Historical Society of New England will present Unsung Heroes, Book of Remembrance, which serves to recognize and honor the contributions of our Chinese American World War II Veterans at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12.

The three speakers will be William S. Chen, Dan Luke, Mong Luke (author of “Unsung Heroes”)

To register, go to (minimum donation $1).

There you will also find information on the three speakers, a link to the suggested pre-reading, and a link to purchase the book.

This is LCHSNE’s second seminar for the Tunney Lee Lecture Series.

‘Boston Harbor, a Teapot Tonight!: The Boston Tea Party Story’

This December commemorates the 247th anniversary of the event that was described by John Adams as, “The most magnificent movement of all.”

Join members of the Creative Team of the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum from 2 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12 as they discuss the dramatic details of the Boston Tea Party and the lasting legacy of this iconic event.

Go to for more information and Zoom registration ($15).

CraftBoston holiday online

In a world of sameness, craft illuminates difference.

CraftBoston Holiday 2020, presented by The Society of Arts + Crafts, is going digital. The online festival will be held through Thursday, Dec. 31. A weekend event showcasing a selection of fine craft and craft artists, full of online programming is slated for Dec. 12 and Dec. 13.

Meet the artists, visit their virtual booths and shop their work all season long. They will have hundreds of pieces available in their new SA+C online shop, as well as links to artist websites that you can access through the CraftBoston artist profiles.

People will also have the opportunity to learn more about their practice through artist demos and special events. Start your day with Cra(ahhhh)ft: meditative, mesmerizing videos of the making process hosted live by CraftBoston artists. Check out Mix + Mingle, a weekly, informal gathering with a handful of artists, to chat about their work, studios and more.

Visit for more information.

Toys for Tots collection

New, unwrapped toys to benefit the US Marine Corps Toys for Tots program can be dropped off at the following places:

- Brookline Bank, 31 State St. through Tuesday, Dec. 15. (See for hours);

- Echelon Seaport, 133 Seaport Blvd. (24 hours daily) through Tuesday, Dec. 15;

- Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, 600 Washington St. from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Tuesday, Dec. 15; and

- Zipcar, 35 Thomson Place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Monday, Dec. 14.

Donations via check can be sent to: Toys for Tots Coordinator, 21 Drydock Ave., Box 21-810W, Boston, MA 02210. You can also make a donation online.

Go to for more information, including the link to donate.

The nonprofit guide to Google ad grants

Have you heard of Google ad grants? Attend a General Assembly Boston webinar, slated from 1 to 2 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 14, and learn how to get the Google ad grant for your nonprofit organization; How to create and efficiently optimize your campaign; Ensure that your account is always compliant with program requirements; Create a robust online marketing strategy for the upcoming giving season; and Increase the efficiency of your existing ad grants campaigns (case study).

Visit for more information and registration.

‘Data Behind the Music’

In the General Assembly “Data Behind the Music" webinar, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec.14, participants will learn from industry experts who have mastered the art of using data to deliver an exciting and unique experience of music en masse. Participants will walk away with a better understanding of where data is taking the future of music, how data is empowering artists as well as listeners and how Spotify uses data to give you a personalized online music experience.

Go to for more information and registration.

Matt Heaton sing-along

Toddlers and their families are invited to a sing-along with Matt Heaton from 11 to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 15 on Chinatown Branch Library Facebook page:

For more information, visit

‘Talking Taste:’ Chef Susana Trilling

Join ICA Boston on a virtual field trip to Oaxaxa, Mexico for a holiday edition of Talking Taste with Chef Susana Trilling at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 15.

Cook along with a live demonstration and learn how to make Estofado de Pollo, Spanish chicken stew with capers and olives.

Reserve tickets in time to receive the ingredients and instructions to follow along.

Visit for more information (including a note from the chef) and registration ($10 / Free for ICA members).

Mental health and wellness in gaming and tech

In a year riddled with lockdowns due to a global pandemic, gaming has become an inextricable part of many people’s lives. The question is, at what cost?

In a General Assembly discussion, slated from 8 to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 15, the panelists will provide context, perspective and career advice into one of the fastest growing markets in the entertainment industry.

The participants will gain a deeper understanding of the physical and mental challenges facing the current gaming generation and the tools available to support and sustain healthy mental wellbeing.

Go to for more information and registration.

Coat Boston

City Mission is collecting new, unused coats in all children’s sizes and all teen sizes (including adult men’s and women’s) that will be given directly to Boston schools and organizations that serve low-income families.

Coats can be donated in one of the following ways:

– Buy a coat and deliver it to your organization’s coat drive then dropped off at the Coat Collection Center

– Order online and send directly to the Coat Collection Center (See Wish Lists)

The address is: Coat Collection Center, First Parish Westwood, Attn: City Mission, 252 Nahatan St. Westwood, MA 02090.

Go to for more information.

Future-Decker conversation series

Join the Boston Society for Architecture for a virtual conversation series as a part of the upcoming exhibition, Future-Decker. The series will feature discussions with residents, architects, designers, and other practitioners as they share and learn from one other about the past, present, and future of the iconic building type: the three-decker.

Speakers and participants will build upon the architectural, economic and ultimately social value of triple and future deckers in the City of Boston and the region.

The events will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays as follows:

Dec. 16: Affordable Futures: Financing for Small-Middle Scale Housing and Exhibition Closing

Programs are free and open to the public.

Visit for more information and Zoom registration.

Winter Recess: Tech powering the outdoor industry

Join the General Assembly and their panel of outdoor-tech enthusiasts from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 17 to hear about how companies are using tech to innovate and power the outdoor industry. The panelists will talk about outdoor-tech trends, evolution of tech in the outdoor industry, and some cool things on the rise.

Visit for more information and registration.

‘The Petition:’ A virtual performance

Revolutionary Spaces will present a virtual performance of The Petition at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 17 on Zoom.

This remote version of the performance originally staged in the Old State House’s Council Chamber will include a talk-back session with the actors and playwright.

Go to for more information and registration.

Celebrity Series of Boston at Home

The Fall 2020 Edition of Celebrity Series at Home features a diverse lineup of classical music, modern and classical dance, jazz, folk, world music, family music and multi-media performances at 8 p.m. on Thursdays as follows:

Dec. 17: Verónica Robles: "A Mexican Christmas: Songs and Stories"

Visit for more information and registration including Sunday Performances.

Setting your 2021 job search up for success

Looking for the most effective way to find job opportunities, land interviews and grow your career (holidays, pandemic or otherwise)? Developing and leveraging online networking skills is one of the most effective ways to move your career forward.

Join WorkWell coaches from 8 to 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 17 for an evening on what they like to call couch networking. The WorkWell team has coached more than 900 people into high paying tech jobs and knows exactly what it takes to land both technical and non-technical roles at a company you are actually excited about.

Go to for more information and registration.

Downtown Holiday Magic

“Downtown Holiday Magic” will bring light, art and joy to downtown crossing through Sunday, Jan. 31.

“Stage Windows” boasts unique storefront displays commissioned from some of Boston’s top performing arts organizations. Installations by Boston’s Black Math celebrate Winter Solstice along Washington Street. Festive decorations and a socially-distanced Santa create a fun, safe place for families.

The “Stage Windows” project includes:

- Commonwealth Shakespeare Company will install a projection-based design for an audio performance of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Location: 467 Washington St.

- Boston Ballet will create a one-of-a-kind infinite jewel box design highlighting the sets and gorgeous handmade costumes that make its version of “The Nutcracker” one of the country’s biggest and most popular. 101 Arch Street; viewable at the corner of Summer and Hawley Streets

- Huntington Theatre Company will build a forward-looking, fantasy New Year’s Eve installation festooned with clocks and calendars. 481 Washington St.

- Cambridge’s legendary Revels troupe will bring an international, fantastical twist to a Winter Solstice theme, with a scene that includes some of the group’s iconic props, costumes and music. 395 Washington St.

The Black Math designs features:

Black Math, the Downtown Boston-based design firm will transform the Downtown Crossing floral kiosk into a glowing, three-dimensional lantern that will light up the intersection of Winter and Washington Streets, in celebration of the Winter Solstice and turn the Downtown Crossing Steps on Washington Street into a 3-D tableau of the harvest sun, with iconic and mythic figures heralding the arrival of winter. Both sites are planned with augmented reality experiences, including photo filters and digital stickers that encourage social media posting and participation.

Boston BID beautification showcase:

The streets will dazzle with lights, holiday flora, wreaths, and more. Along Summer Street, 24 holiday trees, topping 8 feet each, will twinkle to guide viewers along the pedestrian plaza which will complement the Macy’s Christmas tree and window decorations.

Tasteful Boston public art series:

“Tasteful Boston,” a recently installed public art series, features utility boxes throughout the District painted with fresh, colorful imagery celebrating the unique history of Boston’s culinary scene. A map of the sites is available at

A visit with Jolly Old St. Nick:

Kids eager to put their toy lists in with Santa Claus can visit the jolly old elf himself throughout the holiday season, live, in person, and taking orders from noon to 2 p.m. and from 3 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 20 at the Primark store windows on Washington Street.

Go to for more information.

2020 Christmas Shop

Christmas Shop needs support to help bring hope and joy to those most in need during the holiday season.

– People can provide new gifts and clothing (no food items) to individuals and families in need in Boston - View Wish List online

– People can volunteer to help with sorting items and packing them for recipients (adults only).

Go to for more information.

‘A Winter’s Evening’

An intimate concert A Winter’s Evening featuring rising soprano Gabriella Reyes makes her Boston Lyric Opera (BLO) debut alongside pianist Brett Hodgdon. Hosted by reigning Miss Massachusetts Sabrina Victor, this recital was recorded live at The Crane Estate in Ipswich.

The performance will premiere on Monday, Dec. 21 on BLO’s streaming service and will be available to subscribers two days earlier, on Saturday, Dec. 19.

Visit for more information.

SNOWPORT | Winter Wonder Walks

Escape to a winter wonderland filled with safe, seasonal daily activities. Follow the trail of festive holiday trees, try your hand at curling* and other complimentary winter games on Seaport Common, and keep an eye out for Seaport’s newest friend, Betty the Yeti.

And there is no better time to experience the magic than during their Winter Wonder Walks from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturdays.

Experience it all at #SNOWPORT, all season long through Saturday, Dec. 19. *Curling will continue through Feb. 28 (info and reservations at

Go to for more information and registration.

Donate blood for chance to win an OLE

Help save a life by donating blood with the American Red Cross. Every blood donation will be complimentary tested for the coronavirus antibody.

Give blood at the Boston Blood Donation Center, 274 Tremont St. through Tuesday, Dec. 15 for a chance to win an outdoor living experience – Details at

The Center is open from 7 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. – time slots vary by day.

Sign up at or phone 1-800¬-RED CROSS (1-800¬-733-2767).

Operation ABLE

Operation ABLE, 174 Portland St. (Fifth Floor) provides employment services and training programs to job seekers from economically, racially and occupationally diverse backgrounds.

All services at Operation ABLE are being conducted remotely, including distance learning, coaching, and wrap-around services. Class enrollments are open for computer skills training and Health Care and Social Services training, among others.

Visit for more information and registration.

Faneuil Hall Holiday Marketplace

Although the annual tree lighting and Blink! program has been cancelled for this year, the merchants are getting into the spirit and are decking the halls with festive lights and other adornments to enjoy.

Please support the local merchants at Faneuil Hall Marketplace this holiday season by picking up a gift for that special someone or treating yourself. The Marketplace is full of stores and pushcarts selling unique gift items.

Visit for more information, including updated hours.

Shop AFH

Artists for Humanity has a limited-edition collection – in addition to one of the largest collections of teen-created fine art in Boston and perhaps the nation – that amplifies AFH teen artists' creative expression during these pivotal times, providing them a platform for shaping how society moves forward to create a better, more equitable world.

Visit for more information, including links to purchase their artworks. Reduced shipping rates are available.

You can also peruse your daily dose of art on Instagram @AFHBoston.

Macy's Christmas Tree Lighting & Christmas Windows Unveiled

Macy's (450 Washington St.) will light up Boston's Downtown Crossing through Saturday, Jan. 2 with the festive lit evergreen trees on the Summer Street side of the store and the store's famous holiday window displays.

ICA – Temporarily Closed

The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at 25 Harbor Shore Drive has temporarily closed its doors to the public.

Continue to connect to art and artists remotely with virtual programs, at-home art activities for kids and families and by shopping online at the ICA store.

Visit for more information.

BHN scavenger hunts

“Explore Boston Harbor: A Waterfront-Wide Scavenger Hunt,” presented by Boston Harbor Now and their partners, will run through winter in four locations: Charlestown, Downtown Boston, East Boston and South Boston.

Go to to start the hunt.

Online Homework Assistance Program

The Boston Public Library Homework Assistance Program is available from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays. Open to K-8, no registration required.

Visit for more information.

Old State House/Old South Meeting House museums

The Old State House (206 Washington St.) and Old South Meeting House (310 Washington St.) museums have closed for the season for walk-up visits.

Visit for more information, including virtual experiences.

Virtual Revolutionary Spaces

The Old State House and Old South Meeting House have a new website and will offer virtual experiences, including new exhibits and programs, readings, community conversations and performances.

Reflecting Attucks at the Old State House is a temporary exhibit exploring the life and legacy of Crispus Attucks, a man of African and Native descent who was the first to fall in the Boston Massacre, an act of protest widely viewed as a turning point on the road to American Revolution. This exhibit will be on view through March, 2021.

Subscribe to their newsletter and follow them on social media.

Visit for more information.

The Boston Cyclists Union

The Boston Cyclists Union invites people to get involved and join a working group or committee.

Volunteer working groups (Activist Group and Programming Group) meet monthly and play an important role in planning and organizing the Bike Union programs and campaigns. Participation in these groups offers a more active, “on-the-ground” influence than traditional volunteer opportunities.

The three board committees (Development, Finance and Operations, and Governance) support the staff in long-term planning and strategy. Each committee meets monthly.

All meetings are open to all interested parties. Dates and locations along with other information can be found on their website at

YMCA of Greater Boston fall preview

The YMCA of Greater Boston is offering all members and non-members an opportunity to preview their Fall 2020 programs with a free preview week at all 13 YMCA of Greater Boston branches. The fall preview will provide parents and children the opportunity to experience a program with the Y and see how fun and safe it can be.

Fall programing will run through December and will consist of two sessions. Each session will include soccer, basketball, t-ball, sports sampler, swim lessons, semi- private & private swim and physical education. The Jr. Celtics skills and drills program is back and will run for10 weeks through Dec. 20.

All sports clinics and group swim lessons will be included in family memberships through the end of the year. Members of the East Boston YMCA can take advantage of group swim lessons at any other YMCA of Greater Boston locations.

For more information about memberships, visit

Registration for all YMCA fall programs can be booked online at Financial assistance is available to those who qualify.

Free ‘grab-and-go’ meals/food resource information

Boston Eats will continue to provide free nutritious breakfast and lunch to city kids and youth –

18 years of age and under – through Thursday, Dec. 31. No ID or registration required.

Visit or phone 1-800-645-8333 for a list of meal locations and other information. A list of food pantries and soup kitchens is also included.

Visit for a list of current food pantries, food closets, food banks, soup kitchens, congregate meal locations, food boxes, vouchers, etc.

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

‘Love letters to Boston Chinatown’

Help celebrate and strengthen the API (Asian and Pacific Islander) community of Chinatown and Greater Boston by sharing a love letter to Boston Chinatown. Create a poem, story, or illustration inspired and dedicated to Boston Chinatown to help uplift their neighborhood during these difficult times.

Pao Arts Center will translate these letters (in English and Chinese) and post them around the neighborhood as they receive them to empower this community through creativity and kind messages.

This project, inspired by Wing on Wo & Co’s Love Letters to Chinatown, will be ongoing through Thursday, Dec. 31.

Visit for more information, including the link to submit your creation and to view other people’s submissions.

Chinatown presents: ‘Finding Home’

In a video series of interviews and poetry readings, Poet Chen Chen explores issues of home, identity, immigration and coming out. Each poetry reading will be accompanied by interpretive choreography by Chavi Bansal, IJ Chan and Flora Kim.

Catch the release on Pao Arts Center’s YouTube Channel through Thursday, Dec. 31.

‘Homeward Bound: Global Intimacies in Converging Chinatowns’

“Homeward Bound: Global Intimacies in Converging Chinatowns,” curated by queer Chinese American scholars, organizers and artists Mei Lum, Diane Wong and Huiying B. Chan, centers narratives of home, community and intergenerational resistance.

The 3D online/onsite exhibition, which contains multimedia content from written text, video, audio, along with the artworks will be on view at the Pao Arts Center through Thursday, Dec. 31.

The installation uses photographs, oral histories and multimedia archives to highlight stories of migration, displacement and everyday resilience in Chinatowns around the world. This exhibition is the first of its kind to honor, preserve and build on the history and present-day issues of Chinatowns through community-led and curated narratives from residents globally.

Visit to learn more.

‘i’m yours: Encounters with Art in Our Times’

On view at the Institute of Contemporary Art through May 23, 2021, i’m yours: Encounters with Art in Our Times celebrates the power of experiencing art in person. This exhibition, which borrows its title from a Henry Taylor painting in the ICA collection, is conceived as an invitation to visitors to create a personal connection with works of art.

Collaboratively and virtually organized in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest, i’m yours is presented within a dramatic, raw architectural space as a series of small galleries, each offering a different artistic perspective to emphasize that the stories museums may tell through art are never fixed but always in process.

Comprising unique encounters with new acquisitions and iconic works from the ICA’s collection, the exhibition’s groupings, or scenes, address a range of topics, including ideas of home and history, social and material transformation and frames of identity in portraiture and sculpture.

Including works by Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Kader Attia, Firelei Báez, Louise Bourgeois, Nan Goldin, Simone Leigh, Doris Salcedo and many others, i’m yours sparks wonder, encourages questions, challenges assumptions and provides a space for reflection.

Boston Children’s Museum is open

The Boston Children’s Museum has re-opened following health and safety guidelines.

Museum hours: Wednesdays through Sundays with two time slots for visits from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets must be pre-purchased.

Most exhibits will be opened with a few exceptions and limited programming will be offered. The Art Lab will be open with familiar and new programs. The Shop at BCM will be open during Museum hours.

TJX $1 Friday night will be back in the future.

Visit for more information.

Boston Children’s Museum virtual tour and resources

Children can plot their next museum adventure by navigating past fun spots like the three-story New Balance Foundation Climb on the first floor and the Construction Zone on the third floor.

Among the resources are BCM Home Edition with 26 activities that families can do together and 100 Ways to Play – from cooking and crafting (such as origami, beading, paper dolls and accessories), to imagination and observation games, to exploring and movement activities.

The “Big & Little” podcast for adults, about families, kids, and our world, explores relevant topics ranging from play, learning, creativity, resilience, and health through interviews with people from varied professions and who have different perspectives and experiences.

Visit and/or follow their social media accounts for more information.

Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum update

The Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, 306 Congress St. is open Thursdays through Sundays following the safety guidelines:

Tours are held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The gift shop and Abigail’s Tea Room is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Visit for more information.

The Greenway Carousel

The Greenway Carousel at the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Grove will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Jan. 1 following COVID guidelines.

You can also download a free PDF sample of the Greenway Carousel Coloring Book to bring your favorite Greenway Carousel creature’s home and explore native New England creatures of land, air and sea with their downloadable PDF.

For more information and updates, visit and/or follow them on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels as well as their latest blog posts.

St. Francis House

St. Francis House, 39 Boylston St. continues to welcome 400 guests a day for emergency refuge services. Since they cannot utilize volunteers at this time, and are relying on extra outside paid services, they are spending an extra $10,000 a day to keep the place up and running.

Here are ways you can help support the St. Francis House mission:

- Make a gift to the SFH COVID-19 Emergency Fund

- Donate disposable masks, homemade masks, and materials for staff to make masks.

- Support their basic services by purchasing clothing and toiletries for their guests through their Amazon Wishlist.

Visit to learn more, including links to support their mission.

Support ICA

If you’ve enjoyed ICA’s free Thursday Nights, Holiday Mondays, talks, tours, film screenings and family programs – or would like to see more of them – consider a small donation of $5 or more today. Your support helps keeps programs such as these free and accessible to all.

Children check out the toys on display in a store window during the holiday season in 1955. See more at Digital Commonwealth at