Beacon Hill - West End neighborhood notes

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Here is a couple enjoying a very nice autumn afternoon on the Boston Common.

Lee and Nile Albright Annual Symposium: Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

The Museum of Science will welcome Dr. Priscilla Chan, cofounder and Co-CEO of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, for a special one-night only Lee and Nile Albright Annual Symposium from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 15.

Join Dr. Priscilla Chan as she discusses CZI’s work to accelerate biomedicine by supporting the science and technology that will help make it possible to cure, prevent, or manage all disease by the end of the century.

Go to for more information and Zoom registration.

‘Caring for Patients the Integrative Medicine Way’

Osher Clinical Center director Peter Wayne, PhD and Julia Lowenthal, M.D. present “Caring for Patients the Integrative Medicine Way” online from 2 to 3 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 15,

The Osher Clinic for Integrative Medicine is a collaboration between Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard Medical School. It treats the whole patient, not just a particular disease.  Promoting healthy aging and resilience, rather than just preventing decline, is an important goal for all older individuals. Integrative health care brings together both conventional and complementary approaches to health, often in multimodal systems such as tai chi, yoga and others.

Drs. Wayne and Loewenthal will discuss the Osher Center’s clinical use of and latest research on integrative therapies in older adults, including the promotion of healthy aging and prevention of disease and specific geriatric issues.

This program is presented in partnership with the Boston Public Library as part of Beacon Hill Village’s Living Well Ending Well series.

Registration required online at or by calling Beacon Hill Village at 617-723-9713. Registrants will receive the zoom link for the program.

‘The Lost Café Schindler: One Family, Two Wars and the Search for Truth’

Meriel Schindler reconstructs the color and vibrancy of life in prewar Innsbruck against the majestic backdrop of the Austrian Alps, as well as the creeping menace and, finally, terror of the Nazi occupation.

The Lost Café Schindler is a story of tragic loss – several relatives disappeared in Terezín and Auschwitz – but also one of reclamation and reconciliation. Beautifully written, it is an unforgettable portrait of an era and a testament to the pull of family history on future generations.

The Boston Athenæum will host a virtual book talk with Meriel Schindler from noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 16.

Visit for more information and Zoom registration (Members and VESP holders - free | Visitors - $5).

MOS Sci-Fi Book Club

The Science Fiction Book Club for the curious will meet from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 16 to discuss The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi (virtually, of course).

Visit for more information and registration.

Tuesday Jazz Series

Join The Vilna Shul, Boston's Center for Jewish Culture, 18 Phillips St. for a relaxing hour of jazz in a socially-distanced but intimate cabaret setting at their newly renovated community room, featuring Berklee School of Music’s finest new and emerging talent at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 16 and Jan. 18.

The evening will begin with wine and cheese on their patio plaza at 6:30 p.m.

Visit for more information and tickets ($54/series or $18/evening).

Book Talk: ‘The Personal Librarian’

The Personal Librarian tells the story of an extraordinary woman, famous for her intellect, style and wit, and shares the lengths she must go to - for the protection of her family and her legacy - to preserve her carefully crafted white identity in the racist world in which she lives.

The Boston Athenæum will host a virtual book talk with authors Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray from 7 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 17.

Visit for more information and Zoom registration (Members and VESP holders - free | Visitors - $5).


Guerilla Opera joins the Museum of Science for a one-night-only live event, ”FRACTURED,”  featuring the performance exhibition of two works by composers Anahita Abassi and Bahar Royaee exploring themes of fractured experiences, directed by Deniz Khateri.

– Distorted Attitudes III/ Scattered

The body and the psyche combat for control of emotions in a schizophrenic mind, performed by baritone Brian Church and percussionist Mike Williams.

– SALT (World premiere)

A portrait of an elder woman who, as she cooks soup, reflects on her salty life of feeling trapped in an abusive marriage, performed by soprano and artistic director Aliana de la Guardia with electronic sound.

Conversation with the composers and creative teams, as well as reception will follow this event, slated from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 17.

Visit for more information and tickets ($15 advance | $20 day of).

Boston's Official Holiday Tree Arrival 2021

The annual gift of an evergreen Christmas tree from Nova Scotia will arrive by police escort at Boston Common at about 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 17.

Boston Parks Commissioner Ryan Woods, Santa Claus and local schoolchildren will greet the tree at its final destination near the Boston Visitors Center at 139 Tremont St.

The tree will be lit at approximately 7:55 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 2, as the City of Boston’s Official Tree Lighting is celebrated on Boston Common from 6 to 8 p.m.

Go to for more information.

ARC Blood Drive at  Big Night Entertainment Group

Help end the critical shortage status by donating blood with the Red Cross from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 18 at the Big Night Entertainment Group, 110 Causeway St.

Visit or phone 1-800­-RED CROSS (1-800­-733-2767) to reserve a space.

Author Talk: ‘City on a Hill: Urban Idealism in America’

Alex Krieger, Research Professor in Practice of Urban Design, will discuss the topics explored in his 2019 book City on a Hill: Urban Idealism in America from the Puritans to the Present at The West End Museum, 150 Staniford St. Suite 7, at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 18.

Go to for more information and reservations (Donation).

Songs from Beloved King: A Queer Bible Musical

Celebrate the release of the EP songs from “Beloved King: A Queer Bible Musical,” a faithfully adapted queer Bible musical created by playwright, scholar and minister, J. Sylvan. 

This onsite/online event slated from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 18 – at the intersection of religion, identity and the human experience – features a live band and the original singers performing each tune, interspersed with conversations on the inspiration and origins of the songs. The themes of identity found in the Bible and how current societal dialogue around these themes and the shared experiences of the queer community can be traced throughout human history, are also addressed.

Visit for more information and tickets (onsite and virtual).

Holiday Pop-up Book Shop

Books make the perfect holiday gifts. Looking for informed recommendations? Drop in at the Boston Athenæum, 10½ Beacon St. to chat with their librarians about this season's best books. Their friends from Brookline Booksmith will be there with copies for you to purchase.

Prefer homemade gifts? Stop by to make a small blank book you can give to your favorite list maker, note taker, or artist.

Their cozy atmosphere and good cheer – and free gift-wrapping service – will create a festive spirit from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20.

Visit for more information (Members free | Visitors free with admission $8).

BBF November walking tours                                

The Boston by Foot Heart of the Freedom Trail tours will be offered at 11 a.m. and The Road to Revolution tours will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturdays in November.

Visit for more information and reservations (Adults: $15 | Child: $8 | Child under 6: Free).

The Nichols House Museum tours

The Nichols House Museum, 55 Mount Vernon St., was home to landscape gardener, suffragist and pacifist Rose Standish Nichols and her family. Their home and its original art and furnishings provide a glimpse into life on historic Beacon Hill from the mid-19th to mid-20th century. The museum educates and inspires the public through innovative tours and programs.

The 45-minute tours take place between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with an addition option at 2 p.m. on Fridays through Nov. 28 with advanced reservations.

Visit for more information and tickets (free to $12)

Simple morning meditation practice

Beacon Hill Friends holds a simple meditation practice that helps reduce stress and ease you into the morning. The meditation is 15 minutes long and begins and ends with a brief introduction to the practice. Orientation for newcomers begins at 8 a.m., and the practice begins at 8:10 a.m. on weekdays. 

Join once or join regularly – this meditation is free and open to the public.

Go to for more information and the Zoom link.

King's Chapel Tuesday Recitals                                                     

King’s Chapel, 58 Tremont St. hosts Tuesdays Recitals at 12:15 p.m. on site and on Zoom through Dec. 28.

The 30-to-40-minute recitals feature a wide variety of performing artists ranging from local students to traveling performers. The performances range from jazz and folk music from numerous ethnicities to classical music from medieval times to the present.

Visit for more information (Suggestion donation: $5, given to the performers).

‘MIDWEEK: Experiments in Faithfulness’

The Beacon Hill Friends will host “MIDWEEK: Experiments in Faithfulness” from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. This facilitated spiritual practice with Quaker flavor and an experimental ethos is open to everyone.

Go to for more information about the facilitators and the practices they offer along with program details and Zoom registration. These closed-captioned programs are free, although donations to support their work are welcome.


If you are separated or divorced and need healing, the Park Street Church invites you to attend DivorceCare, a 13-week support group, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays from Sept. 9 through Dec. 16 via Zoom.

You’ll find a warm, caring environment and will come to see the group as an oasis in this difficult season of life. There are three key elements to this experience: video seminar, group discussion and a personal workbook.

Each Biblically-based session is self-contained. Unless you’ve been there, it’s hard to understand the hurt that comes from separation and divorce. That’s why many of friends and family might not fully understand what you are going through and may not know how to best help you.

If you are interested in attending, please register by emailing to receive the link for the meeting.  

Friday Unwind: Gentle Yoga         

Join the Boston Public Library remotely from 4 to 5 p.m. on Fridays for a gentle yoga class by Hands to Heart Center (HTHC). Participants can expect a beginner-level one hour yoga flow, with plenty of options and modifications for all bodies and ability levels. All are welcome.

These classes will be live-streamed on HTHC's YouTube channel, where previously recorded sessions may also be found.

To attend, visit No registration is required.

Operation ABLE                                                                                                     

Operation ABLE (174 Portland St.) provides employment services and training programs to job seekers from economically, racially and occupationally diverse backgrounds and for those over 55 years of age.

All services, including distance learning, coaching, and wrap-around services, are being conducted remotely. Class enrollments are open for Computer Skills, Medical, Health Care and Social Services training, among others.

Visit for more information and registration.

BCYF programs and services                                                         

The Boston Center for Youth and Families offers a variety of arts and computer activities,

recreational programs, virtual field trips, workshops and services both remotely and in person for children, youth, individuals and families at 36 facilities, including community centers and pools.

Visit for more information and registration.

MOS experience onsite/online

The Museum of Science has reopened following health and safety guidelines – face coverings and reservations are required for admission.

Highlights of your visit can include permanent and temporary exhibits and a variety of shows in the Planetarium and newly refurbished Mugar Omni Theater.

MOS at home also offers an array of programs and events. Schedules change weekly and may include a weekly STEM challenge, virtual planetarium visits, live animal visits, science stories, science-related question and answer panels, and Sub-space events.

Visit for more information and reservations.

The West End Museum open

The West End Museum, 150 Staniford St. (Unit 7) is open from noon to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

The Museum offers in-person, virtual, and strolling tours and hosts events.

Visit for more information.

Boston Athenæum online/onsite  

Boston Athenæum offers many activities online (some free of charge), serving their members, the Boston community and beyond. They also offer tours of the first floor of their landmark building and artworks from the special collections.

Visit for more information.

Museum of African American History online/onsite                   

The Museum of African American History, 46 Joy St. will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays.

Visit for ticket and scheduling information along with virtual programs and events.

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 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

Free meals/food resource information                               

Boston Eats will provide free nutritious breakfast and lunch to city kids and youth – 18 years of age and under – through 2021. No ID or registration required.

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

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

Contact Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline at 800-645-8333 if you need additional food resources.

Neighbors in Need/Neighbors in Deed                   

There are times when we could all use a helping hand and other times when we could lend one, and that’s the underlying sentiment behind Neighbors in Need/Neighbors in Deed (NIN NID) – a program that connects St. Joseph’s parishioners with neighbors who could use a little assistance or just some cheering up.

If you are in need of anything – or are willing to assist them in outreach – please email or call the office at 617-523-4342 with your name, phone number, email, and a list of items needed, or availability to serve.

Old West Church Community Lunch/Dinner

Everyone is invited to the community meals at the Old West Church at 131 Cambridge St. – served rain or shine and holidays, too. While these meals primarily serve people who are housing insecure or elderly, it’s for anyone.

The Community Lunch is served from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Community Dinner is served from 5 to 6 p.m. on Mondays.

During the pandemic, the meals are served to go. Everyone is welcome to come by and grab a hot meal to takeaway.

Visit for more information.

Wednesday Night Supper Club – ‘Takeout Meal in a Sack’

The Wednesday Night Supper Club is held from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Paulist Center Auditorium, 5 Park St. Place. At this time, they have shifted to a “takeout meal in a sack.”

The Paulist Center volunteers have been serving more than 200 people a week who don’t have access to a good hot meal. The program has been running for more than 50 years. 

Visit to volunteer to help out in any way (cook, serve, clean up; donate supplies, food or money; etc.) or for more information.

Support the parks – give the gift of membership                                                  

Give the gift of membership to ensure that the beloved parks - the Boston Common, Public Garden and Commonwealth Avenue Mall - remain icons of Boston and continue to receive the protection, care and management that they need.

Donations can be made at